Monday 17 December 2012

Hermes knob - a solution

Impatient for a machined aluminium replacement, I tried a softer, more easily worked material. Ready-made shapes sprung to mind: draughtsmen (like you play draughts with),  a wheel from a wooden toy (which I didn't have) or some kind of turnery for cabinet makers. The drawer pull won the day for having a centre guide and I got them from the same shop I get replacement bushes for my Olympia SMs. Wonder if I could get them stock ribbons?

Thursday 6 December 2012

1969 Hermes 3000 platen knob

I found a bar of aluminium in the garden about 10 years ago.

The Young Master is learning to use a centre-lathe at school.

Fingers crossed...

Wednesday 5 December 2012

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Last typewriter - video

From this morning's BBC News 24
20 November 2012

Last typewriter

A typewriter, which its makers say is the last to be built in the UK, has been produced at a north Wales factory.

Manufacturer Brother, which says it has made 5.9 million typewriters since its factory in Wrexham opened in 1985, has donated the last machine to London's Science Museum.

The museum said the piece represented the end of a technology which had been "important to so many lives".

Edward Bryan, a worker at the factory since 1989, made the last typewriter.

"If people ever ask me, I can always say now, as a strange question, that I've made the last typewriter in the UK," he told BBC Breakfast's Colin Paterson.

He said he had previously "tried and succeeded to make one with my eyes closed".

Read more on the BBC News website... 

I know that some overseas readers aren't able to access the BBC News domestic website so I'll upload a video to this page shortly.

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Retro cool...

The appliance of science

...and techno!

I was asked to show the re-badged Adler Gabriele 25 - Peter, here you are. The label came from our old fridge freezer. I like to think the stars now mean one out of four, for looks.

Now I have so much Eurotrash, I decided to slim it down by opening an Olympia page. I know, such largesse... and my new answer to the question, how many typewriters? About 40.

Notice to eBay Australia: this one's not for sale

Sunday 11 November 2012

Gabriele 25

The doorbell rang. It was Fiona with a typewriter from a house clearance. Plastic, the odd fracture in the bodywork, missing badge, no touch control, segment (and more) needs a clean.

The font? Techno!!!

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Mutant 66

An Imperial 66 with serious genetic mutation.

As well as a degree in office machines, I reckon you might need a pilot's licence for this.

Any clues?

More info...

Wednesday 31 October 2012

How do you like my new typewriter*

* No, not an Underwood Portable and not THIS particular machine, but in Kerouac's estate was a Hermes 3000 just like this, along with a repair bill. It had been dropped.  It fetched $22,500 in 2010.

From the Christies auction site:

"KEROUAC'S LAST TYPEWRITER, which he used from 1966 until his death in 1969. He announces its arrival in a 29 August 1966 letter to his agent, Sterling Lord: "How do you like my new typewriter?" The new machine "was necessary," he explains, "as the old one broke in two, but, and that's what broke my budget, and now it'll be taxes." Lord received many letters from this machine about Kerouac's money problems: "Where are the ROAD royalties to 6/30/66," he asks on 18 January 1967, "and same royalties (6/30/66) for SUR... Great time of stress. Need money to fence-in magnificent part wooded yard." He also hoped to build a study "where I'll be writing VANITY OF DULUOZ in month of March after Greek Orthodox Church wedding in February" (to Stella Sampas). Vanity was published in 1968. It would be the last novel published in his lifetime. His novella Pic would appear in 1971. This typewriter had to make a visit to the repairman in January 1969. The repairman's receipt for $22.83 (which survives in the Kerouac Papers), diagnoses the problem as "Dropped." The Kerouac Papers also contain the Hermes operating manual for this typewriter."

Wednesday 17 October 2012


Patience, luck and Auction Sniper (thanks for the tip, Richard and the encouragement, Bill).

Now to work out the logistics...

Tuesday 16 October 2012

Hayden Kays

© Hayden Kays

Self-proclaimed Young British Artist and purveyor of puns and clever one-liners loves to type!

I was innocently thumbing through the pages of Ebay and found a limited edition original artwork for sale (and at a very reasonable price).

Amongst other things, he also has a blog.

Tuesday 31 July 2012

The Typewriter

Royal nut and publisher Janine at Uppercase Magazine got in in touch about the new book she has in the blocks. I'm really pleased to be able to bring the story to anyone who hasn't already come across the magazine, the book or the publisher. The book is available on pre-order – and you get the kudos of a name check. Judging by the rest of Uppercase's output - it is sure to be beautifully presented and a good read.