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Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Octennial of OzTypewriter

Today marks the eighth anniversary of OzTypewriter. In that time it has had 2416 posts and 3.72 million page views. February 27 is an auspicious date:
Typewriters continue to serve a vital purpose in today's Internet infested world. This young woman is using an Olympia standard typewriter in one of the Sahrawi refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria, in this case the women's boarding school at the satellite camp called 27 February. The camps were set up in 1975-76 for Sahrawi refugees fleeing from Moroccan forces, who advanced through Western Sahara during the Western Sahara War. With most of the original refugees still living in the camps, the situation is among the most protracted in the world. The limited opportunities for self-reliance in the harsh desert environment have forced the refugees to rely on international humanitarian assistance for their survival. However, the Tindouf camps differ from the majority of refugee camps in their level of self-organisation. Most affairs and camp life organisation is run by the refugees themselves, with little outside interference. The camps are governed by Polisario, an administrative part of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). On the February 27, 1976, the Polisario Front declared the birth of its "state-in-exile".
OzTypewriter has ploughed on through thick and thin these past eight years, putting up on average of 302 posts a year and averaging 465,472 page views a year. It threatened to explode in my face once or twice, but it's yet to bomb out completely.
Blogger only seems to allow 1000 comments on the site at any one time, and I'm sure I've received many hundreds more than that. Indeed, there have been times when I felt just a little bit under siege from comments:
A typist demonstrates the uses of a Royal standard typewriter at the British Office Appliances Trades Association's Business Efficiency Exhibition at White City, London, on February 27, 1930.
American journalist Alberta Charlayne Hunter-Gault was born in Due West, South Carolina, on February 27 in 1942. She is photographed here in 1983 in her New York office of the MacNeil/Lehrer Report. Hunter-Gault is a former foreign correspondent for National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting Service. In 1961, Hunter became part of the civil rights movement when she and Hamilton Holmes became the first two African-American students to enrol in the University of Georgia. She graduated in 1963. Four years later she joined the investigative news team at WRC-TV, Washington DC and anchored the local evening news. In 1968, Hunter-Gault joined The New York Times as a metropolitan reporter specialising in coverage of the urban black community. She joined The MacNeil/Lehrer Report in 1978 as a correspondent, becoming The NewsHour's national correspondent in 1983. She left The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer in June 1997. She worked in Johannesburg, South Africa, as National Public Radio's chief correspondent in Africa from 1997–99 then as CNN's Johannesburg bureau chief and correspondent until 2005. During her association with The NewsHour, Hunter-Gault won two Emmys and a Peabody for excellence in broadcast journalism for her work on Apartheid's People, a NewsHour series on South Africa. She also received the 1986 Journalist of the Year Award from the National Association of Black Journalists, a Candace Award for Journalism from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women in 1988, the 1990 Sidney Hillman Award, the Good Housekeeping Broadcast Personality of the Year Award, the American Women in Radio and Television Award, and two awards from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for excellence in local programming.
On February 27, 1869, 150 years ago today, John Willis Menard became the first African American to address the chamber of the US House of Representatives. Menard (1838–93) was a federal government employee, poet, newspaper publisher and politician born in Kaskaskia, southern Illinois. After moving to New Orleans in 1865, he became, in 1868, the first black man elected to the House of Representatives. During the American Civil War, Menard worked as a clerk in the Department of the Interior under Abraham Lincoln (see below). Menard was sent to British Honduras in 1863 to investigate a proposed colony for newly freed slaves. In New Orleans established the newspaper The Free South, later named The Radical Standard. In an 1868 special election to fill the unexpired term of James Mann, a Democrat who had died in office, Menard was elected as a Republican to represent Louisiana's 2nd congressional district. He was denied the seat on the basis of an election challenge by the apparent loser, Caleb S. Hunt. When the House Committee on Elections failed to make a final determination on the election challenge, the case went before the entire House of Representatives. On February 27, 1869, the House suspended its rules to allow both Menard and Hunt to address the chamber in support of their claims. Only Menard spoke. After Congress debated the issue, neither Menard nor Hunt could gain enough support to be seated. The vote for Hunt was 41 in favour to 137 against. For Menard, it was 57 in favour and 130 against. Neither man was seated. Menard moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where he was appointed to the Florida House of Representatives in 1874. He became editor of the Florida News and the Southern Leader from 1882-88.
Mathew Brady photographed presidential aspirant Abraham Lincoln before his February 27, 1860, speech at Cooper Union in New York. In May Harper’s Weekly published Brady’s image as a woodcut on its cover with a biographical profile of Lincoln.
American playwright, screenwriter, novelist, and short-story author Irwin Shaw, seen here with an Olivetti Studio 44 typewriter, was born Irwin Gilbert Shamforoff in the South Bronx, New York City on February 27, 1913. He died in 1984. His written works have sold more than 14 million copies. He is best known for two of his novels: The Young Lions (1948), about the fate of three soldiers during World War II, and Rich Man, Poor Man (1970), about the fate of two siblings after the war. His younger brother, David Shaw, became a noted Hollywood producer and writer.
British novelist, poet, dramatist, and travel writer Lawrence George Durrell, seen here with an Olympia Traveller de Luxe typewriter, was born on February 27, 1912. He died in 1990). Born in India to British colonial parents, he was sent to England at the age of 11 for his education. His first book was published in 1935, when he was 23. In March 1935 he and his wife, and his mother and younger siblings, moved to the island of Corfu. Durrell spent many years thereafter living around the world. His most famous work is The Alexandria Quartet, a tetralogy published between 1957 and 1960. He was one of the most celebrated writers in England.
This advertisement for the Marais papermill of Paris first appeared on February 27, 1950.
There were times when my blogging lapsed and I fretted about falling page view figures, but after eight years it seems it is still resisting the inevitable fall into Typospherian obscurity:


Bill M said...

Congratulations! and Happy Number Eight Robert!
Please keep up the good work. You have one of the few active blogs that are still active since I started sometime about 2011 with my typewriter obsession.

John Cooper said...

Of the 40 or so blogs I follow, yours is one of two that read like professionally edited articles—consistently informative, interesting, on point, and free of obvious errors or omissions. This despite the frequency with which it's updated. I've no doubt this is a result of your journalism experience—the early training to produce fair copy on the fly, burnished by the experience of having produced millions of words.

OzTypewriter is not only a pleasure, it's an invaluable resource, one of the first places I look for information about a particular make or model of typewriter and its place in history. Thank you.

Michael Höhne said...

Congratulations, Robert! I, too, read you regularly from the USA, and gain a lot from your work. And a lot of work it does seem to be---wide-ranging, deep, and often on subjects that are obscure and yet, when you write of them, feel like they should not be obscure. Always interesting. Thank you.

Johnpyyc said...

Hi Robert - Congratulations. You will never be obscure. Keep up the great blogging.



SteveK said...

Congratulations. Keep on keeping on.

Joe V said...

Congratulations Robert.

Peter said...

Happy 8th Anniversary! Thanks for all the hard work!

Terry Murray said...

Congratulations on 8 great years!

Jasper Lindell said...

Here's to the next eight marvellous years of oZTypewriter, Robert!

Richard P said...

Great job, Robert! Onward!