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Monday 30 June 2014

Tarting Up a Royal KMG Typewriter

Sacrilegious, I know, but a bit of fun too. And don't fret, Ryan, it still works perfectly well...
Australian "royalty" (King O'Malley) between two re-vamped "booty" Royals ...

Stott Model Twenty Portable Typewriter = Messa-ABC 2000, Sears Chevron

This Portuguese-made Stott Model Twenty portable typewriter appeared on Australian eBay tonight (#171372262876). It is a re-labelled Messa 2000, also marketed as an ABC 2000 and the Sears Chevron
Below is the original Messa 2000, made in Mem Martins, Sintra, outside Lisbon. The factory was set up by German company Siemag under Bernhard Weiss in 1963 and started to make German ABC portables in 1966. Later it made Litton typewriters, including Royals and Imperials. The plant was closed in 1985.

Below, the ABC 2000The 2000 represented a change of styling and engineering by Messa. The multi-link key lever assembly was replaced by a four-dowel design using a heavy but simple single-piece casting (clearly seen in top-of-post image) to mount the levers:
Below, the Sears Chevron
Stott also re-labelled the Siemag L1 (key tabulator, top image) and L8 (tabulator to eight decimal points, bottom image) of 1963. These machines are seen below as Messas.
The Stott Model Twenty portable seen above was marketed by Stott Datagraphics Ltd. Stott changed its name from Stott & Underwood on May 28, 1969. On July 19, 1972, the company was taken over by Fred T.Wimble and Co Ltd and was subsequently deregistered. For more on Wimble, see here.
The history of the Stott company can be found on this blog here.

Sunday 29 June 2014

The Typewriter The Movie - Coming to a Cinema Near You

The Typewriter is a movie in production in Melbourne, Australia, by Sidebar Productions. It started pre-production last November and is due for completion later this year. It may not reach our cinemas until 2015.
It is described as "A journey across four lifetimes, all connected by the most unlikely companions. This is not a story about war. Returning home to 1960s Australia, the place he [lead character Jack Matthews?] once called home, followed by memories an ocean away. The most unlikely companion, the only way to express the moments lived, ones regretted and lessons not yet learnt. The journey not of a man, a family or a hero, but of a life that lives through generations sharing stories when we lack the courage to tell them."
Ortuso and Nguyen
The script has been written by Deanna Ortuso, who is executive producer with Joanne Nguyen
The movie stars actor Scottish-born Benjamin J. Edwards (below) as Matthews. He is known for this year's The Blessed Line  and last year's The Secrets That I Found. 
Adelaide-born Ortuso's first short film, Coil, screened at the 2009 Cannes Short Film Corner. She won the 2011 Best Actress in a Short Film Award at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival for her role as Ashley in A Tale of Obsession. Ortuso began the South Australian-based production company DEOR Productions at 18 before merging the business at 23. She studied at the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles. 
Nguyen is an actor and producer, known for this year's The Salsa Plays and Thunderstone (1999).
The Typewriter's Facebook page suggests of the image above: "You can't pay for this kind of advertising! Gracing the 2014 Oscar stage and the title of our film! Let's hope it's a sign."

The Full Brazilian Typewriter: Let's Cut to the Chase Here, and not Wax Lyrical - Was he Avezedo or Azevedo?

Avezedo's typewriter. Or is it Azevedo's?
Goodness, I wish I was in Brazil right now, instead of Siberian Canberra.
Now, before I go any further with this post, is Avezedo considered to be the same surname as Azevedo? I ask because I simply don't know, and can't find out with any degree of certainty. Azevedo is a very common surname in the Portuguese language, but I have also seen many references to Avezedo (including a saint) - though online searches for Avezedo do automatically switch to Azevedo.
The reason I ask is that English- and German-language typewriter histories (1923-1973) list the Brazilian inventor as Avezedo, while later historians (1997 onwards) refer to him as Azevedo. Indeed, Michael Adler changed his mind between editions (1973 and 1997). 
So which is it, or does it make no difference? I'd like to know before I start compiling my Dictionary of Biography of Typewriter Inventors, not that the correct spelling will change the padre's position in the listings.
I've naturally been thinking Brazil these past few weeks, because of a certain World Cup finals tournament being played there in one of the lesser football codes. Happily, Brazil will get the see more of the real, original thing in 2016, when rugby union (in sevens form) returns to the Olympic Games (with the United States as defending champions, having won in Antwerp in 1920 and Paris in 1924). Did you know that when Brazil hosted the 1950 World Cup soccer finals, England made its first appearance and was beaten by the US?
Joe Gaetjens  scores for the US against England at Belo Horizonte (where this year's hosts Brazil have just knocked out Chile on a penalty shoot-out) on June 29, 1950, 64 years ago tomorrow.
Only ONE typewriter in sight, a Hermes Baby on the lap of the gentleman in the middle. This is the Press Corps covering the opening match of the 1950 tournament, Brazil versus Mexico.
As for this other football event, the one being played right now, it's good to see that many of the typewriter-producing countries of the world have qualified for the round of 16 - the United States, Germany, host nation Brazil, Mexico*, the Netherlands, France and Belgium. And of course, to mark the week of Georg Sommeregger's birthday, good old Switzerland (very impressed by them, Georg). Those typewriter producers which failed to advance included Japan, Italy, England, Portugal, Spain and Russia. *I have a post coming up on a very interesting typewriter made in Mexico.
Olivettis being used in typewriter classes in Brazil in 1950, the year Brazil last hosted the World Cup soccer finals.
Typing college graduates in Brazil in 1938, the year France hosted the World Cup soccer finals.
Brazilian poet Manuel Carneiro de Sousa Bandeira Filho (1886-1968) at his Royal portable typewriter in 1943.
 Rheinmetall portables in a Rio de Janeiro store in 1939
Typewritten mementos from the first World Cup, held in Uruguay in 1930. Unfortunately, Uruguay have had the bite put on them this time, and they were looking good, too.
OK, enough of all this sporting nonsense. Down to typewriters, and Avezedo (above), or is it Azevedo?
Adler changes his spelling to Azevedo in Antique Typewriters (1997)
In 1923, Typewriter Topics said Avezedo - it's the first reference in a typewriter history to the Brazilian.
In 1949, Ernst Martin agreed.
And in 1973, so did Adler, in The Writing Machine.
There are many references to Avezedo (all as Azevedo) in Portuguese-language websites. The enduring Brazilian claim that Christopher Latham Sholes was a "thief" who stole Avezedo's typewriter - oh so persistently raised in these references - is, of course, just arrant nonsense. One entry states, "1873 - Theft of the typewriter, by a foreign (probably Christopher Latham Sholes)."
The fairy tale revolves around unsubstantiated rumours of a foreigner stealing Avezedo's machine and taking it to the US in 1872-73. This convoluted story very conveniently overlooks the fact that the Sholes machine was first made in Chicago in 1868, revamped in Milwaukee in 1869 and demonstrated in New York in October 1870, at least two years before the alleged disappearance of the Avezedo machine. After 1870, Sholes merely "tinkered" with the typewriter, it was not re-designed to incorporate any Brazilian ideas. This letter was written by Sholes on his typewriter on October 18 1869:
Still, I'm one of those pedants who believes that if we mention Avezedo at all, we should be consistent with the spelling of his name. Can anyone settle this?
Avezedo was born in Paraíba do Norte (today João Pessoa) on March 4, 1814. He attended Olinda Seminary from 1835 and was ordained a priest in 1838 in Recife, where he taught technical courses in geometry and mechanical drawing. He returned to Paraíba in 1863 and in 1868 became professor of mathematics and geometry in the college of arts attached to the Faculty of Law of Recife. On November 16, 1871, Avezedo became an honorary member of the Institute of History and Philosophy of Pernambuco, and on January 31, 1872, he became professor of the Mechanical Society of Artists and Liberals. Avezedo died in Paraíba on July 26, 1880.
His typewriter was presented at the Agricultural and Industrial Exhibition of Pernambuco in 1861 and the National Exhibition in Rio de Janeiro at the end of that same year, being awarded one of nine gold medals in the presence of Emperor Pedro II on March 14, 1862. It wasn't taken to the London exhibition because of a shortage of space in the Brazilian pavilion. One Brazilian historian wrote, "In vain they seek is the name of Francisco João de Azevedo in the history of writing written by a foreign machine". No wonder, if it is spelled Avezedo, not Azevedo!
Avezedo, or Azevedo, was not the only Brazilian typewriter inventor. Here are some others: