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This, too, will type again

More and more, I’m lining my classroom with manual and electric typewriters. Students have been migrating to these machines, and they are crafting poems, writing stories, and composing lyrics. Though I possess little aptitude mechanically, I can get a machine into basic running condition. I hope to do so with this Facit T1, which was originally employed at a high school in the Bay Area some decades ago. Somewhere, in my files, are some ephemera from that period. I’ll post that material as it surfaces.

As seen at TypewriterDatabase.com (ser. no. T1-133882).

© 2018, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.


Where I work

Phone and iPad: airplane mode. Computer: off. Alexa: playing Miles Davis. This is where I work and how I work. It’s not so much that I want to disconnect, but that I want to connect. In this highly disorganized world, this highly distracted world, seeing the printed word upon the page is a balm.

On my desk are a 1930s Remington Streamliner and a 1970s Olivetti Lexikon 82. The Streamliner needs servicing, but functions well enough to pound out a few ideas. The Lexikon is a fast, zippy machine,though the motor is a bit loud; otherwise, the action is rapturous.

Lately, I’ve taken to compiling a typewritten “to do” list each evening, having read that this activity before bedtime can help one relax. States Dr. Sharon Bergquist, commenting on a Baylor University study: “The idea is that if you can just take ideas that are just ruminating in your head, put them on paper, it lets your mind go to rest. You can put it aside, pick it up the next day” (link).

In the past, I’ve tried to keep a “to do” list on my smartphone, employing all sorts of apps, but never succeeding in maintaining a “to do” list usefully. The typewritten copy is different altogether. First, it’s printed on a piece of paper: handwritten notes can be added as necessary; second, it resides in my pocket for easy reference and modification.

Fundamentally, the typewritten list is organic. I can write out ideas, draw a picture, craft a poem. In short, the list becomes an opportunity, not an obligation.

© 2018, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.


Portrait by an artist

I acquired this photo on eBay some time ago, which was taken by an “artist” from Stokes Studio in Campbellsville, (Kentucky?), sometime in the early 1900s. A number of photo studios bearing this studio’s name prospered around the country, especially around the 1920s. The enclosure for the photo reads generically “Portrait by an Artist.” I don’t know who the gentleman in the photos is, but he apparently worked in a telegraph office. The typewriter is perhaps an Underwood? (If you know, please comment.)

[click to continue…]

© 2018, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.