Monday, July 23, 2012

Rare Typewriter Hiding in Tasmania

This article bubbled up on my "typewriter" newsfeed the other day. It's short on details, though:

Tapping into untold markets

A rare 19th-century typewriter, which was heading for the tip, is now the centrepiece of a house lot that goes under the hammer in Burnie [July 21st].
[...]
"The North's Typewriter had been in the family for 80 or 90 years and was destined for the skip bin," Mr Broadfield said.
[...]
"It is a very rare design. Only four models of this kind of typewriter, where the type stroke is not visible, were made."
For want of a better term, it sounds like this is a "backstroke" typewriter, with the bars striking not the front or the underside of the platen, but the side opposite the operator. I'm hoping for some guidance from Richard or Alan here. In the meantime...

Attention Tasmanians: kindly check your attics!

6 comments:

Ken Coghlan said...

According to Tom Russo:
North- Manufactured by the North Typewriter Manufacturing Company, LTD, of London, England. Morgan Dunne and George B Cooper invented the North in 1890. It is reported that the North got its name from its financial backer, Lord North. The North lasted only a short period of time after the death of Lord North. The type bars were arranged in two semicircles above and behind the platen. It was, therefore, a down stroke machine. Availability: Rare.

an *sshole with a typewriter. said...

not exactly related to this post but how might i be able to get my blog added to "the mighty blogroll"?

Richard P said...

Right, it's a backstroke -- a visible writer, actually, but not a very good design because you have to roll up the paper after typing on it so it won't get in the way of the typebars. So only a line or two of writing is visible at a time. Other backstrokes include the Fitch and the Waverley.

PS: Dude, you wrote "typerwriter"!

Michael Clemens said...

Title corrected since it's confirmed to be rare, and confirmed that I can't type.

Scott Kernaghan said...

Michael, that's what we (Or at least I) call "Scott Syndrome"

"Scott syndrome is when you find yourself typing perfectly legible words, and subsequently missing them completely during proof reading. The diagnosis is usually made when you re-read your material after having a cup of tea, and realise how much of a dick of yourself you've made".

Back on topic.... I think I need to make a visit to Tassie sometime REALLY soon.

Scott Kernaghan said...

...... I bet I'll find Rob trying to break in and steal it at the same time as me.