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Wednesday 1 May 2013

Typewriter Bits & Pieces Come & Go

How the day dawned, as seen from my balcony, May 1st. Canberrans traditionally pride themselves in resisting turning on a heater until Anzac Day, April 25. But almost a week later we still haven't used heating here. Keep it up, Canberra.
Dusk this evening, taken a few minutes ago. In between these spectacular skies, it has been a very interesting day, with typewriter bits and pieces arriving from various parts of the globe. First, from Cincinnati, Ohio, came this intriguing package. Charlie the typewriter guard cat checks it out before allowing me to open it. More on his day later.
A typewritten address label, no less! Even a bit of red type. Inside were some real typewriter "goodies". Sender Richard Polt had alerted me there would be, and I was delighted to sift through what he'd been kind enough to send. The package was to contain just platen knobs for an Underwood Noiseless 77, but Richard thankfully and thoughtfully couldn't resist filling in some spare space with a few odds and ends:
A ribbon from Spitzfaden Office Supplies. Wow! I can almost reach out and touch the place. I will be able to in October. And how's that Cincinnati Army Knife? Apart from pliers, it has every Australian male's dream tool, a screwdriver that doubles as a beer bottle opener. Plus a blade, file, scissors - and it's a key ring. Ideal for on-the-spot typewriter repairs. 
Also in this treasure box: A ruler from the Baco Ribbon & Supply Co, plastic type cleaner from AW Faber and another typewriter ribbon. And oh, yes, the embarrassing bits, the platen knobs:
Embarrassing because it was only after Richard's package arrived that I realised I'd asked him for the wrong thing. What I actually needed was the platen itself. Oh well, we live and learn!
This is still in America ...
Anyway, another package arrived from Neil Wiltshire - a decidedly English-sounding name for a chap living in the Czech Republic. But he's obviously a man after my own heart. Have a look at the clever recycling of the Shreddies box:
Inside was this pennant from the Consul typewriter company:
These are the sorts of things I associate with European soccer in the 1950s and '60s, when opposing captains used to shake hands and exchange club pennants before matches. I wonder if Consul had a company soccer team?
Another package contained this bit of typewriter-related artwork, printed on the page of a dictionary:
Inside the case of a typewriter which arrived from the US was this 1951 sheet for a Self Typing Instructor ("No schools, no books"). I imagine this originally came with cardboard hand cutouts:
If it had been used in schools, maybe this would have been the scene:
At the end of the day I had to go over to the post office to pick up another typewriter, this one from Germany. Hats off to sender Silvia Kuvecke of Bardowick in Lower Saxony for the best packing of a typewriter I have ever seen - outside of Richard Polt, that is. Silvia restores one's faith in eBay typewriter sellers and their appreciation of the value of a typewriter - and the need to protect it and that value in transit. Here is the manual for the machine in question, one I will post on shortly:
I almost forgot: there was also some movement in the other direction - that is, outward mail. I got some typewriter parts ready to post to Scott Kernaghan in Brisbane. These are for machines I gave Scott at the Brisbane Type-In in March, both of which came from Museum Victoria's ScienceWorks in Melbourne:
Finally, Charlie the typewriter guard cat. I said I'd get back to him. After checking out Richard's package and giving it the all-clear, Charlie spent the rest of the day basking in the sun and indulging in a bit of light typewriter book reading:


Bill M said...

Those are some very nice things. I love the children's typing class.

Steve Snow said...

Gee I can relate to this post. Receiving mail is so very much more exciting when one is in the business of typewriters!

Scott K said...

OHHH... Parts on their way! I'm excited.

I love the typewriter ribbon tin there. Such a beautiful blue.

That reminds me, I need to post some parts and stuff out myself!

TonysVision said...

Thanks for sharing your postal day. Opening those packages is truly one of the delights of the typewriter obsession. Indeed, the packaging itself is certainly a mixed bag, ranging from those double-packed and foam jobs that would survive a plunge from an airplane (like those old Royals) to just the plastic case inside a tight-fitting cardboard box (like the poor Adler I recently received in pieces).

Speaking of turning on the furnace, here in the Northern California foothills the challenge, of course, is delaying turning on the AC as our side of the globe begins to bask in the sun.

Richard P said...

Looks like a great mail day -- glad I could contribute to it!

Those cutout cardboard hands made me laugh, but maybe they were an effective teaching method.

Gorgeous skies in Canberra!