31 August 2013

A Leader Among Typewriters




I was here (above) while Beloved Spousal Unit was here (below). 


From the Fuel Milwaukee website.

Though, more specifically, he was at one of these (below).


Image source/credit


And while I was giving an all-day seminar on the wonders and beauty of controlled vocabularies, my True Love was out acting as my Typospherian Enabler.  He has a wonderful eye, having found these two gorgeous machines for me already.






So it was very exciting to get his text message that day during a break: he had found this 'neat old machine' for me (for a mere ten bucks!).  A quick phone pic whetted my interest, but it wasn't until I got home that I was able to take a closer look.




The case, except for the old paper sticker, is in remarkably good condition. It has a swirling, embossed pattern. The lighting and the red of the carpet don't do justice to its color, which is a lovely malachite green.




The machine is an Underwood Leader.  Will Davis, commenting on Alan Seaver's Machines of Loving Grace site, has this to say about this model:
"Yet another Leader, and it should be apparent by now that application of the "Leader" name to an Underwood portable indicates a very basic machine."

He speaks truth. This typer is very simple in its accouterments.  I am not even sure it has a Margin Release key.  (The color of the machine is closer to a grey-taupe than the pinkish hue you are seeing here. The red of the carpet affected the camera, I'm afraid. The keys and shift bar are dark green.)








What is interesting is the variation in lettering styles on the logo and labeling.  The Underwood logo on the the front is of a silvery metal.  The machine's name -- Leader -- is painted on with the letters more widely spaced, the e, r, and d echoing the typeface of the logo.  The company name on the back is more staid, with those funky elbow-shaped brackets kinda, maybe, sorta reflecting the logo's flair.





The interior is quite clean and there is no musty smell, which is surprising given its 1950s origin when cigarette smoking was pretty much the norm in most households.  But since the spools are plastic and not original, perhaps the machine has had a cleaning at some point.





The crisp and snappy typing action (reminiscent of the Smith Coronas of that time) reveals a plain pica typeface.  The only real mechanical problem  is the carriage arm which appears to need a new spring. It works but has clearly seen some aggressive return action!




I am sorry to say that I did not get to meet fellow Typospherian Richard Polt (of Writing Ball and The Classic Typewriter Page).  We had planned to meet up for a twosome type-in but post-seminar work issues forced a cancellation.  What a disappointment that was.  I was looking forward to hearing more tales of his recent trip to Great Britain. 

In his honor, I include the complete poem from the above typed excerpt.

To Cincinnati
By Edward A. M'Laughlin

City of gardens, verdant parks, sweet bowers;
Blooming upon thy bosom, bright and fair,
Wet with the dews of spring, and summer's showers,
And fanned by every breath of wandering air;
Rustling the foliage of thy green groves, where
The bluebird's matin wakes the smiling morn,
And sparkling humming-birds of plumage rare,
With tuneful pinions on the zephyrs borne,
Disport the flowers among, and glitter and adorn:

Fair is thy seat, in soft recumbent rest
Beneath the grove-clad hills; whence morning wings
The gentle breezes of the fragrant west,
That kiss the surface of a thousand springs:
Nature, her many-colored mantle flings
Around thee, and adorns thee as a bride;
While polished Art his gorgeous tribute brings,
And dome and spire ascending far and wide,
Their pointed shadows dip in thy Ohio's tide.

So fair in infancy--oh, what shall be
Thy blooming prime, expanding like the rose
In fragrant beauty; when a century
Hath passed upon thy birth, and time bestows
The largess of a world, that freely throws
Her various tribute from remotest shores,
To enrich the Western Rome: here shall repose
Science and art; and from time's subtile ores--
Nature's unfolded page--knowledge enrich her stores.

Talent and Genius to thy feet shall bring
Their brilliant offerings of immortal birth;
Display the secrets of Pieria's spring,
Castalia's fount of melody and mirth:
Beauty, and grace, and chivalry, and worth,
Wait on the Queen of Arts, in her own bowers,
Perfumed with all the fragrance of the earth,
From blooming shrubbery, and radiant flowers;
And hope with rapture wed life's calm and peaceful hours.

Oft as the spring wakes on the verdant year,
And nature glows in fervid beauty dressed,
The loves and graces shall commingle here,
To charm the queenly City of the West;
Her stately youth, with noble warmth impressed,
Her graceful daughters, smiling as the May--
Apollos these, and Hebes those confessed--
Bloom in her warm and fertilizing ray,
While round their happy sires the cherub infants play.

So sings the Muse, as she, with fancy's eye,
Scans, from imagination's lofty height,
Thy radiant beaming day--where it doth lie
In the deep future; glowing on the night
From whose dark womb empires unveiled to light:
Mantled and diademed, and sceptred there,
Thou waitest but the advent of thy flight,
When, like a royal Queen, stately and fair,
The City of the West ascends the regal chair.


The Cincinnati Skyline

City of gardens, verdant parks, sweet bowers; Blooming upon thy bosom, bright and fair, Wet with the dews of spring, and summer's showers, And fanned by every breath of wandering air; Rustling the foliage of thy green groves, where The bluebird's matin wakes the smiling morn, And sparkling humming-birds of plumage rare, With tuneful pinions on the zephyrs borne, Disport the flowers among, and glitter and adorn: Fair is thy seat, in soft recumbent rest Beneath the grove-clad hills; whence morning wings The gentle breezes of the fragrant west, That kiss the surface of a thousand springs: Nature, her many-colored mantle flings Around thee, and adorns thee as a bride; While polished Art his gorgeous tribute brings, And dome and spire ascending far and wide, Their pointed shadows dip in thy Ohio's tide. So fair in infancy--oh, what shall be Thy blooming prime, expanding like the rose In fragrant beauty; when a century Hath passed upon thy birth, and time bestows The largess of a world, that freely throws Her various tribute from remotest shores, To enrich the Western Rome: here shall repose Science and art; and from time's subtile ores-- Nature's unfolded page--knowledge enrich her stores. Talent and Genius to thy feet shall bring Their brilliant offerings of immortal birth; Display the secrets of Pieria's spring, Castalia's fount of melody and mirth: Beauty, and grace, and chivalry, and worth, Wait on the Queen of Arts, in her own bowers, Perfumed with all the fragrance of the earth, From blooming shrubbery, and radiant flowers; And hope with rapture wed life's calm and peaceful hours. Oft as the spring wakes on the verdant year, And nature glows in fervid beauty dressed, The loves and graces shall commingle here, To charm the queenly City of the West; Her stately youth, with noble warmth impressed, Her graceful daughters, smiling as the May-- Apollos these, and Hebes those confessed-- Bloom in her warm and fertilizing ray, While round their happy sires the cherub infants play. So sings the Muse, as she, with fancy's eye, Scans, from imagination's lofty height, Thy radiant beaming day--where it doth lie In the deep future; glowing on the night From whose dark womb empires unveiled to light: Mantled and diademed, and sceptred there, Thou waitest but the advent of thy flight, When, like a royal Queen, stately and fair, The City of the West ascends the regal chair.
Read more at http://www.blackcatpoems.com/m/to_cincinnati.html#E0XduxryleBWFs7M.99
To Cincinnati by: Edward A. M'Laughlin (1798-?) City of gardens, verdant parks, sweet bowers; Blooming upon thy bosom, bright and fair, Wet with the dews of spring, and summer's showers, And fanned by every breath of wandering air; Rustling the foliage of thy green groves, where The bluebird's matin wakes the smiling morn, And sparkling humming-birds of plumage rare, With tuneful pinions on the zephyrs borne, Disport the flowers among, and glitter and adorn: Fair is thy seat, in soft recumbent rest Beneath the grove-clad hills; whence morning wings The gentle breezes of the fragrant west, That kiss the surface of a thousand springs: Nature, her many-colored mantle flings Around thee, and adorns thee as a bride; While polished Art his gorgeous tribute brings, And dome and spire ascending far and wide, Their pointed shadows dip in thy Ohio's tide. So fair in infancy--oh, what shall be Thy blooming prime, expanding like the rose In fragrant beauty; when a century Hath passed upon thy birth, and time bestows The largess of a world, that freely throws Her various tribute from remotest shores, To enrich the Western Rome: here shall repose Science and art; and from time's subtile ores-- Nature's unfolded page--knowledge enrich her stores. Talent and Genius to thy feet shall bring Their brilliant offerings of immortal birth; Display the secrets of Pieria's spring, Castalia's fount of melody and mirth: Beauty, and grace, and chivalry, and worth, Wait on the Queen of Arts, in her own bowers, Perfumed with all the fragrance of the earth, From blooming shrubbery, and radiant flowers; And hope with rapture wed life's calm and peaceful hours. Oft as the spring wakes on the verdant year, And nature glows in fervid beauty dressed, The loves and graces shall commingle here, To charm the queenly City of the West; Her stately youth, with noble warmth impressed, Her graceful daughters, smiling as the May-- Apollos these, and Hebes those confessed-- Bloom in her warm and fertilizing ray, While round their happy sires the cherub infants play. So sings the Muse, as she, with fancy's eye, Scans, from imagination's lofty height, Thy radiant beaming day--where it doth lie In the deep future; glowing on the night From whose dark womb empires unveiled to light: Mantled and diademed, and sceptred there, Thou waitest but the advent of thy flight, When, like a royal Queen, stately and fair, The City of the West ascends the regal chair.
Read more at http://www.blackcatpoems.com/m/to_cincinnati.html#E0XduxryleBWFs7M.99
To Cincinnati by: Edward A. M'Laughlin (1798-?) City of gardens, verdant parks, sweet bowers; Blooming upon thy bosom, bright and fair, Wet with the dews of spring, and summer's showers, And fanned by every breath of wandering air; Rustling the foliage of thy green groves, where The bluebird's matin wakes the smiling morn, And sparkling humming-birds of plumage rare, With tuneful pinions on the zephyrs borne, Disport the flowers among, and glitter and adorn: Fair is thy seat, in soft recumbent rest Beneath the grove-clad hills; whence morning wings The gentle breezes of the fragrant west, That kiss the surface of a thousand springs: Nature, her many-colored mantle flings Around thee, and adorns thee as a bride; While polished Art his gorgeous tribute brings, And dome and spire ascending far and wide, Their pointed shadows dip in thy Ohio's tide. So fair in infancy--oh, what shall be Thy blooming prime, expanding like the rose In fragrant beauty; when a century Hath passed upon thy birth, and time bestows The largess of a world, that freely throws Her various tribute from remotest shores, To enrich the Western Rome: here shall repose Science and art; and from time's subtile ores-- Nature's unfolded page--knowledge enrich her stores. Talent and Genius to thy feet shall bring Their brilliant offerings of immortal birth; Display the secrets of Pieria's spring, Castalia's fount of melody and mirth: Beauty, and grace, and chivalry, and worth, Wait on the Queen of Arts, in her own bowers, Perfumed with all the fragrance of the earth, From blooming shrubbery, and radiant flowers; And hope with rapture wed life's calm and peaceful hours. Oft as the spring wakes on the verdant year, And nature glows in fervid beauty dressed, The loves and graces shall commingle here, To charm the queenly City of the West; Her stately youth, with noble warmth impressed, Her graceful daughters, smiling as the May-- Apollos these, and Hebes those confessed-- Bloom in her warm and fertilizing ray, While round their happy sires the cherub infants play. So sings the Muse, as she, with fancy's eye, Scans, from imagination's lofty height, Thy radiant beaming day--where it doth lie In the deep future; glowing on the night From whose dark womb empires unveiled to light: Mantled and diademed, and sceptred there, Thou waitest but the advent of thy flight, When, like a royal Queen, stately and fair, The City of the West ascends the regal chair.
Read more at http://www.blackcatpoems.com/m/to_cincinnati.html#E0XduxryleBWFs7M.99

6 comments:

  1. Congratulation on your beautiful machines. Too bad you did not get to meet Richard.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ooh, good hubby! :)

    I have long known that I reside in "the Queen City of the West," but never ran across this poem before. Talk about over the top! I love it.

    I hope to meet you next summer in Milwaukee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'Over the top' - isn't it though! 19th-century poetry could be so florid. Glad to have brought it to your attention. ;-)

      Delete
  3. Oh, how very nice! That is an excellent haul.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it? And interestingly, my husband isn't very interested in using the machines. He just enjoys how much fun I have finding 'em.

      Delete
    2. Ha ha ha. I wish my lady was as supportive of my typewriter love!

      Delete

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