Saturday, October 21, 2017

Herman's 2017

You meet the nicest people here, and they all seem to have excellent shirts ...

And then there is Herman's little typewriter collection. Here are a few of my faves ...

Don't be too jealous, one of these is a reproduction ...

Even Herman's junk is fascinating.

We assembled in the driveway for awards, auctions, raffles, and presentations ...

Our gracious host invited everyone to sign a basketball:

We agreed that, as the leader of our band, he deserves this bandleader's cap from the Remington company band, discovered by Peter Weil:

Several items were auctioned off to benefit hurricane victims and raise funds for the Early Typewriter Collectors' Association. I confess that I ended up the owner of the monster Torpedo in the foreground:

The annual QWERTY Award went to Doug Nichol for directing the wonderful "California Typewriter":

The presentation of the award:


Peter Weil and Martin Howard discussed their Kleidographs:

What's a Kleidograph? This is:

Glenn Garratt tells us about Remington firearms:

Bryan Kravitz (Philly Typewriter) told us about his ambitious plans to open a store in Philadelphia (he's been working out of his home) and host a typewriter festival there next summer:

I gave a presentation about customized typewriters like my Purple Prose Producer and Herman's giraffe-print Smith-Corona, both of which were present in the flesh.

The beauty contest attracted the curious to see curiosities in the pool room:

"Shabby chic":

Meanwhile, outdoors, there were typewriters galore for sale ...

... and typewriters that people put out for show and tell.

An Olivetti M40 War Version with German keybaord is a very unusual find in the US, but Monica Corwin snagged one on the road to Herman's:

An unusual Royal Electric with a low serial number looks like a giant Quiet Deluxe. Unfortunately, I didn't have the brains to take a picture of the typewriter itself, just these details:

Now it was time for the typing contest!

Some brave souls used 19th-century shiftless machines. Here's Ian Brumfield on his Caligraph (formerly mine), which isn't even QWERTY.

I used this Yost No. 4, but there wasn't enough ink in the ink pad for me to see the results clearly. Behind it is a Smith Premier.

I did my best to count my errors and came up with 27 wpm.

Do you think we sound as good as the Boston Typewriter Orchestra?


After pizza, as many were watching the first of two showings of "California Typewriter," I retreated to my hotel room to relax and write this post. 

You may have noticed a gorgeous burgundy Selectric in the beauty contest. This was customized by the expert hands of Brian Brumfield and is among the treasures I'm taking home.

Good night!

Friday, October 20, 2017

The road to Herman's

It's time for the tenth annual typewriter collectors' meeting at Herman Price's amazing Chestnut Ridge Typewriter Museum, in his home in West Virginia. What began ten years ago as a little get-together for a few friends has ballooned into the legendary "Herman's." This year, about a hundred people are expected to attend. Herman's story about the last ten years of meetings will appear in the December ETCetera.

I always enjoy making the drive from Cincinnati (about 5 or 6 hours) through the colorful fall foliage of southern Ohio and central and northern West Virginia. Here are a few moments from today's trip.

The Parker House Hotel building in Hillsboro, Ohio, dates from 1807:

Only in rural America? ...

(Yes, that is the same Remington company that made the first Type Writer, although the typewriter business soon spun off from the arms business.)

Not everything out in the country has historic charm, but at least this strip mall has an amusing name...

The town of Bainbridge, Ohio, was having its annual fall festival. Hundreds of people were on the streets, and there were dozens of sales going on. Very few typewriters, though. In one ramshackle, moldy antique barn I spotted a Royal KMM for $45 and a Tom Thumb for $35. Both in rough condition. No, thanks.

Chillicothe, Ohio, has plenty of history and lots of antique shops. The following note was in a nice-looking tan Smith-Corona Silent-Super ($95). I like the note, but the price was too rich for me.

However, at another Chillicothe shop I struck paydirt: an Olympia SM3, needing a bit of work, for just $25. There was just enough room for it on top of the other typewriter cases in my trunk:

The rest of my car is also full of machines, mostly sold in advance to other attendees. I am shrinking my collection ... honest.

At Herman's, I found quite a crowd of people and cars assembled in the dimming light of evening. Shortly after my arrival, a Prius tried to park by the side of the road and didn't see the ditch. It was rescued by a combination of truck and muscles.

Most of us went to Cracker Barrel for dinner. It was fun to see old friends, put faces to names, and meet new people. Tomorrow will be an action-packed day.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Post-Paradigm postcards ready to be posted in the post

I just had a large batch of Typewriter Manifesto postcards printed up. They need somewhere to go! I would be glad to type an address on one of them and mail it to you or your friend. There might even be an interesting stamp and a signature. Simply send me the name and address.

By the way, the revolution belongs to everyone, so you are free to share this photo, retype the Manifesto, rewrite it, and post it wherever you please with my blessing.