Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ramblings on correspondence and thinning the hoard

*All wonky typing/ alignment issues solely my fault... always trying to write on every inch of paper, as usual!

Here's the only typewriter spotted this week - slim pickings:

Friday, January 13, 2012

Museo della Macchina da Scrivere, Milan (2)

Typecast showing a bit of improvement, thanks to the TurboScan app for iPhone. Now I should just flatten the sides to avoid the distortion you see here... almost there!

Another look at the Everest corner; the middle shelf has one with an extra-long carriage.
The Olympia section, hosting an Oliver and Blick, too. The top shelf has an SG-1, Simplex, Plana, and another SG-1.
More detail on the Hermes typewriters, as well as Di Donato's prized Caligraph.

Hammond vs Varityper... a couple of rare birds keep each other company.
Never heard of a Littoria typewriter, so I thought it was worth taking a picture of. Might help someone some day...
I don't suppose you have seen this special edition Olivetti (probably a Lettera 35i), released to commemorate Italy's turn hosting the World Cup in 1990.
The Antares collection
Another typewriter I have never heard of and wanted to document - a Citizen from Japan!
Near the entrance, a few colorful and more modern typewriters - well, except for the Alpinas!
Not all of them are perfect - this turquoise Studio 44 has a bent frame.
Not surprisingly, the Valentine display is quite close to the reception desk! Perhaps more people ask to see it more than the others? The white color is fairly rare, I would think.

Finally, here is the link to the Museum website, and the video I mentioned.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Museo della Macchina da Scrivere, Milan

** Apologies for the typecast quality; looks like the no-scanner experiment is a bit less than ideal. Situation to be rectified shortly :-)**

This Mercedes Addelectra greeted us at the entrance, next to an assortment of pamphlets and (not pictured) copies of Di Donato's autobiographical works.

The reception desk is barely visible, surrounded as it is by typewriters.

A shot of the main room, featuring an impressive collection of Olivettis. Di Donato did not seem to mind duplicates much: there were several Studio 42s, Lexikon 80s, M40s, and M20s. We asked him about the Graphika and he drew a blank - he had never heard of it!

Another view of the main room, with the Hermes section straight ahead.

The Everest corner.

I know; I gasped when I saw her too. Yikes!

A Yost with teaching keys - interesting.

Another colorful keyboard, this time on a Lexikon 80.

This is an ordinary Olympia standard that was refurbished in a rather extraordinary way. I found it fascinating, but Di Donato was rather nonchalant... familiarity breeding contempt, I guess.

Optima Arabic typewriter, with beautiful glass keys. 

This post ends on a bit of a grim note. The typewriter in question is not all that special - in fact, it is downright plain; one of those wedge-shaped plastic electronic typewriters. However, in keeping with the theme of the collection, its owner was newsworthy: Greg Summers, a death row prisoner executed by lethal injection in Texas in 2006. You can read more about him here, and also about his friendship with an Italian schoolteacher and her students in this article from TIME magazine. Here is the typewriter:

Like I did with the typecast at the beginning of this post, Greg chose to write his last letter in script.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Better Late Than Never, or, Happy 2012!

My New Year's greetings, had they been offered in a timely manner as originally intended, would have looked like this photo: festive, exuberant, seasonally appropriate. Instead, they are a little more like this:

Out of season, and a bit droopy. Sad. Nevertheless - and although you wouldn't know it to look at this blog - I have been keeping you all up to date. Albeit mentally. But you are not telepathic, as I just realized, so here is the long-awaited holiday report:

P.S. After crowing about seamlessness and all of that, I was given a good kick in the you-know-what by OSX Lion, which apparently will no longer support the software and drivers I need to run my ancient Canon scanner. Goodbye scanned typecasts! Using a tripod and his fancy digital camera, J took photos of my typecast and saved the day, and I will need to figure out how to deal with this new hiccup going forward, taking photos of the pages that are fairly decent.

I don't mind getting rid of the scanner - it was bulky and cumbersome anyway - but I hope I can keep up the image quality of the typed pages with a digital camera. We'll have to see. In the meantime, I have learned a valuable lesson: not to type on every possible inch of the page, as I have tended to do, leaving me very little space to allow for cropping afterwards.
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