Tuesday, December 29, 2015

D.C. reading and type-in January 7

DC-area typewriter lovers are invited to an event at Busboys & Poets Bookstore in Hyattsville, where I’ll read and sign The Typewriter Revolution. All are invited to bring a typewriter and type away!

January 7, 2016
5-6:30 pm

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Lonely Typewriter

Don L. contributes these images of a new kids' book. Has anyone read it?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Readings / type-ins in SF, LA, DC, and Michigan

I'll be reading and signing The Typewriter Revolution at various upcoming events. Typists and their machines are invited! 

Adobe Books, San Francisco, 5-7 PM, December 22, 2015

Type-in at The Last Bookstore, Los Angeles, 5-6:30 PM, Dec. 28, 2015
with poetry, art, and the original typewriters of Orson Welles and Ray Bradbury ​

Busboys and Poets Bookstore, Hyattsville, MD, 5-6:30, January 7, 2016

Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI, 7 PM, January 15, 2016 ​

Kazoo Books, Kalamazoo, MI, January 16, 2016, 12-3 pm

 More information at typewriterrevolution.com.

 Richard Polt

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Santa Claus Revolution?

It appears news of Richard's book has reached even the ears of the Jolly Old Elf, for his Portland, Oregon incarnation has a very familiar accessory at hand. Please disregard the unfortunate man-bun on the big guy.

Of course, Santa's no stranger to these classics. Maybe thanks to The Typewriter Revolution, a few more will wind up under the tree this year?

Portable Smith Corona Typewriter, Santa Claus magazine ad, 1960s

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

London type-in, November 28

London Type In
Date: 28 November 2015
Time: 2:30pm
Venue: The Jones Family Project

Come and enjoy an ad-hoc Type-In and book launch. Toucan Books have pruduced a new publication, Typewriter: The history, the machines, the writers on behalf of US publisher Shelter Harbor Press and it will be getting a UK airing at the Type In. All welcome!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Typewriter session at the Miami Book Fair

Marvin Sackner and Richard Polt speaking on
The Art of Typewriting and The Typewriter Revolution
at the Miami Book Fair this Saturday,
November 21, 11 am.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Typewriter repair and sales are booming

"Business is booming at the 83-year-old Gramercy Typewriter Company, as a new generation discovers the staccato pace and simultaneous printing of a 19th-century innovation."

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Portland, OR Typewriter Jam Oct. 10

1st Annual Portland Type Jam 
Saturday October 10th, 4-9pm  @ Independent Publishing Resource Center 
The inaugural Portland Typewriter Jam has everything any typewriter aficionado could ask for! The event includes an exhibit of unique and rare typewriters, a typewriter clinic with demos for repair and cleaning and attendees walk away with their own typewriter-themed art print. FREE! 
Janine Vangool: The Typewriter: a Graphic History of the Beloved Machine
Sunday October 11th, 7pm @ PSU Shattuck Hall
IPRC and Design Week Portland are co-sponsoring a presentation by Janine Vangool of Uppercase Magazine  for the release of her latest title: “The Typewriter: A Graphic History of the Beloved Machine”

More information:


Monday, September 7, 2015

Free magazine

I have two copies of the May 2014 issue of Treasures magazine. It includes an article on the typewriter revival, with photos from my collection. Would you like a free copy? Email me at polt@xavier.edu. I'll update this post when they're gone. 

UPDATE: they are taken. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A sinking ship?

This is the cover of today's New York Times Magazine.

A few observations on this fine illustration by Andrew Rae:

It's interesting that typewriters get such a prominent role as representatives of non-digital creativity, and as the device that is apparently going to be the last to sink. Weren't they already "sunk" circa 1985? Perhaps against the artist's intent, the illustration shows that typewriters aren't dead.

There are many people who haven't thrown away their analog devices, and are combining them with the digital in creative ways. Case in point: typospherians. Maybe this point is conveyed by the writer who's surfing on a typewritten sheet, wielding her fountain pen.

The article itself ("The Creative Apocalypse That Wasn't," by Steven Johnson) presents a somewhat reassuring view of the ability of artists to support themselves in the digital age. There's some encouraging news, such as the recent growth in independent bookstores, but the author's spin strikes me as overly optimistic. A sad truth is buried in the next-to-last paragraph: "Most full-time artists barely make enough money to pay the bills."

PS: Read typecaster Patrick Wang's analysis of the fallacies in Johnson's article.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Father's Day & Typewriter Day

"It was the first Father's Day since my dad passed away and the first Typewriter Day I've ever acknowledged."

Read more from Louise Marler, our artist friend from a typewriter family.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

International Typewriter Day 2015

It's just a week away, Tuesday, June 23, the anniversary date of the U.S. patent filed by Christopher Latham Sholes and company for an "Improvement in type-writing machines" which is a good enough reason to throw a type-party at the midpoint of the year.

Any plans for marking the date this year? Share in the comments!

Typewriter Day 2015

The Typewriter Project NYC

The Typewriter Project is currently active in Tompkins Square Park in New York City.

"The Typewriter Project is a series of site-specific literary installations which encourage users to go analog. These typewriter installations—wooden booths with a seat, desk, and typewriter inside—allow both professional writers and first time typists alike to join in a citywide lyrical exchange. Each booth is outfitted with a seat, desk, typewriter, 100-foot scroll of paper, solar generator, hidden tablet, and a USB typewriter kit, which allows every written entry to be collected, stored, and posted online for users to read, share, and comment upon. The Typewriter Project investigates the subconscious of the city by creating unique spaces designed for contemplation in which users can contribute to narrative of that particular location."

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Monday, June 8, 2015

Tender Typosphere Spring in Austria, and language diversity in the Typosphere

The German-speaking typosphere seems to be gaining momentum. A new blog "Die Schreibmaschinisten" (approx.: "the writing machine operators") has been set up by Rodja Pavlik in Vienna, Austria. Have a peek at https://dieschreibmaschinisten.wordpress.com (use google translate if needed). Welcome Rodja to the Typosphere!

It is a curious phenomenon that no sizeable typospherian community has formed until now in German speaking countries (at, least judging from the web presence in form of blogs), given the high affinity and technical tradition in these parts. It was more in the countries surrounding Germany that typospherian flowers blossomed. This is the case of the Netherlands, and of Switzerland, where three blogs were active in the early 2010s (although all of them, at least predominantly, in English language). As of now, only one of Swiss blogs (Sommeregger's Sammelsurium) is active. Also, Shordzi recently re-activated the blog running alongside typewriters.ch, and here most of the entries are in German. We may add the new webpage of the Swiss typewriter collectors' club (SHBS.ch), which is blog-based. It is not a typical typospherian blog though, if such thing exists.

In times of google translate, language barriers matter less. It is perfectly feasible, and in my view commendable, to foster language diversity in the typosphere. The long-standing Spanish-speaking blogs give a perfect example and show the way. Passive knowledge of the other-than-English pages will allow you to practice this language, and at the same time for the author to write in his/her mother tongue. Google translate, which by now is,  at least for the major languages, a reasonable tool, will help in case. So we have entered a period where cross-language understanding is possible, even without, or only little knowledge of the other language.

All the more we welcome Rodja's initiative. Looking forward to a Vienna type-in (maybe in July?)

Friday, May 22, 2015

Paul Smith, typewriter artist, achieves posthumous fame

A 2004 story on impressive typewriter artist Paul Smith, who had cerebral palsy, has recently gone viral. (The video has 13,000,000 hits as of today.)


Here is a back story about the recent swell of interest in this news report.

Thanks to Bill MacLane for recommending this post.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The insurgency reaches India

We've seen quite a few typewriter stories from India, but they tend to be melancholy ones about the end of typewriter production at Godrej, the decline of the traditional typing school and street typists, and so on.

Here's some good news, though:

“It feels great to be needed,” he says. “Kids these days are turning to, and enjoying, these machines everybody was getting rid of 15 years ago. If there was no appreciation for these machines, we would have shut shop. It gives us a real lift.”

Read the story here, with glimpses of several typewriter shops that are hanging on, and even thriving, in India.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Typing in Tampa

The insurgency lives in Florida! Here's a scene from Tampa ZineFest '14 — from Tampatype.com.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Friday, March 6, 2015

Monday, January 5, 2015

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