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8th Dayton sold on eBay

A black Dayton Portable Typewriter was just sold on eBay for $1,341.74. It is the eighth known Dayton — serial number BN 366. Congratulations to the buyer.

Munk lists the previously known seven machines here. Six of the machines are green; two are black.

© 2017, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.


After a period, two spaces.     Or one.

It’s a generational thing. If you learned to type on a manual typewriter, you likely put two spaces after a period.    Like that. If you learned to type on an electric typewriter or a computer (most everyone), you likely put one space after a period. Like this.

I learned to type on an electric at school and a manual at home. I was a two spacer.    Then I purchased a Mac Plus computer, and I became a one spacer. I prefer one space.

Business Insider’s Farhad Manjoo, offers this commentary: Why You Should Never, Ever Put Two Spaces After A Period

The problem with typewriters was that they used monospaced type—that is, every character occupied an equal amount of horizontal space. This bucked a long tradition of proportional typesetting, in which skinny characters (like I or 1) were given less space than fat ones (like W or M).

Monospaced type gives you text that looks “loose” and uneven; there’s a lot of white space between characters and words, so it’s more difficult to spot the spaces between sentences immediately. Hence the adoption of the two-space rule—on a typewriter, an extra space after a sentence makes text easier to read. Here’s the thing, though: Monospaced fonts went out in the 1970s.

© 2017, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.


Still typing in Myanmar

Image from Fox News (see here).

Remarkably, we still live in an age where in some parts of the world, typewriters are necessary. In Myanmar, typists have seen demand for their trade decline, but many still thrive. A report from Fox News relates: “Aung Myint says his work is steady enough, but a far cry from the days of military rule, when he spent most of his time typing up authors’ novels for submission to the now-defunct censorship board. He rarely broke for lunch back then, often working by candlelight well after shops were shuttered and businessmen had long gone home.”

Video: BBC News – The slow death of Myanmar’s typewriter industry

Article: Fox News – Typewriters, telegrams, other reminders of bygone era persist in fast-changing Myanmar

© 2017, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.

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