All posts in Place

Seattle type-in: Saturday, March 19th

Name that typewriter: Viracocha, San Francisco

Viracocha, on Valencia Street in San Francisco’s Mission District, sells typewriters. I sent my envoy Scott over there to check out the offerings a week or two ago, and here’s what he found.

Can you name that ‘writer? No looking anything up. (For encyclopedic types, this will be a no-brainer). I’ll add my lame remarks, this is where you’ll see how little I actually know about typewriter model specifics, only really being familiar with the typewriters I own. This general ignorance is why I never make appearances among the sages on Yahoo’s Portable Typewriter Forum.

Some kind of big ol’ Olympia SG standard. I have never paid any attention to the standard models made by Olympia.

1950’s Remington Quiet Riter. I want one!

An Underwood standard whaaat? It looks 1950’s.

Royal Quiet de Luxe, 1950’s.

A Royal KMS? KM-something? 50’s? 60’s? Man, I don’t know thing one about standards.

What is this?? A Torpedo? Is this a German brand? I only know Torpedos as imposing antique standard type machines, didn’t know they made any in the 60’s or whenever this was made.

Voss… another German brand? If I had to pick one of these ‘writers, I’d take this one. I don’t know anything about Voss machines and have never seen one in the wild.

Smith-Corona clipper. Now I am on more familiar territory. 40’s?

Some kind of early IBM electric typewriter. I know even less about electric typewriters than I do about standards.

What’s that goofy long green lever on the right side? This is a quiet de luxe, right? It’s kind of hard to tell from this picture.


Oh my, that was disgraceful. Please tell me you can do better at identifying these machines.

This just in! Hear radio report on Snohomish type-in

Here’s a KIRO news article about the Snohomish type-in on Sunday (with a link to the radio segment, which you really must hear).

You’ll hear the voices of the typosphere’s own, including Little Flower Petals, A Treatise on Pedestrianism, Manual Entry, and of course, the event host, Snohomish Writer (and his wife, who also did tons of work for the event and is very kind).

Also, KIRO has posted photos.

Snohomish type-in: at which a world record is set

Behold this photo, depicting a table in Snohomish’s Upper Case Books around which is seated 5 members of the typosphere.

I hereby proclaim this to be the world record of typecasters seated in a single venue. (From left counterclockwise, are the respective bloggers from Strikethru, Manual Entry, A Treatise on Pedestrianism, Snohomish Writer, and Little Flower Petals.)

Several of us made the trek from random parts of Western Washington state for the occasion, and it was entirely worth the trip, as Justin (Snohomish Writer) and his wife did a great job of advertising the event and conducting fun raffles and typing contests, with prizes contributed by Uppercase Books. (I won this most excellent journal made from vintage bookcovers. Allow me to add that, regarding typing contests, Little Flower Petals is a scary-fast typist.)

Lest you think it was only us five die-hards in attendance, in fact a room full of perhaps 15 – 20 machines were kept busy during the entire event, with many curious local folks stopping in to type letters, compare typewriters, and test their typing speed while a photographer from the Everett Herald snapped photos of everyone at work.

As a bonus, the two Smith-Coronas I brought were successfully re-homed (the Galaxie with a lady who stopped in looking for one to buy to fill out forms. She said she missed the feel of a typewriter. Sold, free of charge!).

Thanks to Justin for a great event. Here’s his post that contains all the links to the news stories about the event from KIRO radio and the Everett Herald.

Type-in in Snohomish, Washington!

The typosphere’s own Snohomish Writer has coordinated a type-in to happen in Snohomish, WA. Here are the details!

Ryan of A Treatise on Pedestrianism also hosted a type-in at Seattle’s Inner Chapters bookstore in January and plans to repeat the experience soon, check his blog for details.

This just in, Philadelphia is having another type-in in February! Also, Phoenix is having an event in March.

Help the Independent Publishing Resource Center and win zines and stickers!

This holiday season (queue announcer voice), I would like to help out an organization that shares the values of the typosphere: Portland Oregon’s Independent Publishing Resource Center.

The IPRC is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of independent print publishing projects, and is staffed and used by typewriter fans, comic book artists, writers, zinesters, mimeograph nerds, letterpress people, and any number of folks you’d want to be friends with. I made a video about the IPRC in graduate school last winter and attended a weekend-long print camp there in 2009 which was a great experience (see this brief video of Silent Type co-producer Brandon learning how to use a mimeograph machine there).

As the IPRC is a nonprofit organization, it relies on donations to stay afloat. Here’s how you can help.

1) First, view the
IPRC Typing Kitty video
(featuring a lovely green-keyed Royal Quiet De Luxe).

2) Decide that you are moved to donate $10 or $25.

3) Realize that Strikethru is offering a free copy of Silent Type #2 to $10 donors, and a free copy of both issues 1 and 2, plus 1 sheet of beautiful Royal typewriter stickers* (one sheet of 4 stickers) to $25 donors. Holy cow!

4) Donate securely via the Willamette Week give guide (the Willamette Week is a weekly newspaper in Portland, OR): Go to their 2010 Give Guide, Click Donate Now, under Arts enter $10 or $25 next to Independent Publishing Resource Center, click Next, etc.

5) Send me an email or a letter (letters are great) to inform me of your donation and give me the address to send the prize to. Please be honest!

6) Enjoy your prize and the moral satisfaction of knowing that you helped an organization that supports independent print publishing, and is home to a number of happy and well-used typewriters.

I am hoping to raise $100 for the IPRC (and plan to donate $25 myself in addition to that). If enough people donate and we reach the $100 mark (or we reach January 31st, 2011, whichever comes first), I will end the offer (because I only have so many copies of Silent Type– you do realize it is now officially out of print?! See left for PDF copies of the zine if you want to take a look).

*the typewriter stickers are made by the talented Sarah Golden. Visit her Etsy store craftyFOLK, based in my home town of Sactomato, for these and other awesome typewriter-related crafts.

Philadelphia Type-In: Saturday, December 18th

If you live near Philadelphia, you know you’re going to the first Philly type-in December 18th. Here are the details. Man, I wish I could go! It’s a long way from Seattle, though…

It’s protest time: typewriter user kicked out of writer’s colony in New York City

The typosphere’s own Speculator brought the following item to my attention this morning: The Writers Room, a Greenwich Village nonprofit that rents workspace to writers, has banned typewriter users from the premises, presumably because their once omnipresent sound offends the delicate ears of MacBook Air acolytes.

Writer and typewriter user Skye Ferrante was given the choice to switch to a laptop or end his membership with the Writers Room, and was quoted as saying “Some people like to listen to vinyl. Some people prefer to drive a stick shift. I just wish that there were some typists out there that would back me up, but I don’t know any.”

Typosphere! If that’s not a call to action, what is? How I wish we could all pile into a bus and head straight to Greenwich Village with our Olympia SM9s and Royal Quiet De Luxes for a good old-fashioned type-in protest, which would be a damned site more fun than what most of us have planned for the afternoon, I’m going to guess. However, we’re going to have to come to Skye Ferrante’s aid another way. Letter writing campaign! Gentlepersons, start your carriage returns.

Silent type 2, Microcosm, Portland Zine Symposium

I owe you an update on Silent Type II. For a few weeks in June (a time that falls mercifully between grad school quarters), I plan to finish up the scanning and assembly of the zine, with a hopeful mail-out date falling not too long after that. So no, your poems did not fall down a rathole, Silent Type just happens to be no different than any other literary journal that takes forever and a half to be produced.

Did I mention that Silent Type will shortly be distributed by the zine distributor Microcosm?

Speaking of Portland, I have this half-baked notion to take Silent Type to the Portland Zine Symposium this August (which is this year sporting a rather strange Space Invaders design theme) and just want to know: who’s with me? Tell me at least one of you typecasters plans to show your face down there and represent the typosphere.

The IPRC: What are you making?

Have been working on a short film about Portland, OR’s Independent Publishing Resource Center for my digital storytelling class in G-school, and heck, I am done (well, except for a few mistakes I’d fix if I wasn’t half dead from stomach flu). As you may know, I am a fan of the IPRC, so this was a fun project. Let it be said that if you’re a Portland resident and a creative type, and you don’t have an IPRC membership, well then, yer crazy.

Awhile back, I rambled about how I’d like to see the typosphere document more things on video — repair shops, DIY projects, what have ya. I know Clickthing has done a few, which I’ve enjoyed. Hope to see more of you out there making movies. If you had the time, camera, or what have you, what would you make a movie about?

Jesse Reklaw, incidentally, drew the typewriter logo at left on my Web site.