30 March 2013

Typospheriana - The Big Reveal (and Then Some)

Kudos to Ted for his sharp eye. (And to Bill M. for his chuckle-inducing comment on this "Free $23.95 value"!)  The sticker is indeed found on the front of this box containing a a "10-Day Touch Typing Course."

My Beloved Spousal Unit found it for me at one of our local Goodwill shops.  It is in very good condition all around.  I don't have a turntable-to-USB set up, but my brother Architect does.  I hope to ask him to make a digital recording for me - parts of which I will share here later.


And here are a few more Typosphere-related items that came my way recently.

This lovely case for my Kindle.

This textbook for a College Typewriting course.

Including the schedule of classes being taken by its owner.


An informational book on typewriters.

And an insert found in the case of a Brother-Bradford identifying regional Typewriter Repair Shops. No doubt these are long gone.


28 March 2013

Typospheriana Teaser

It's been a crazy few weeks here at 'The Wardrobe' but I am putting a little something together for later this week.  Here is a sneak preview!

22 March 2013

Tales Only Dreamed Of

My brother, The Captain, had mixed feelings about St. Patrick's Day.  By day he was second in command for large-ish university's Department of Public Safety.  He knew that on March 17th, and the week in which it fell, he'd be a busy man - watching out for, caring for, helping, and, when necessary, saving the undergrad and grad students from the own over-imbibings.  "The Immortals" he called them; the young people who never thought anything could happen to them.

But The Captain had another side to him, a very whimsical and good humored side.  Every August he served on the stage crew of the Aer Lingus music stage at Milwaukee's Irish Fest. Although one of ten children of the same two parents, he claimed "all the Irish" had descended to him alone. He loved Celtic music and befriended many of the performers through the years.

He also loved reading Science Fiction, loved making up stories, and entertained himself and the world with his fictional postcards.  And he would have loved, and been hugely amused, by the work of Bradley W. Schenck, a.k.a. author of the Thrilling Tales website and fantastic artist of all-things SciFi and retro.  And a damn savvy marketer of his work.

"You, too, can create a customized pulp magazine cover with the astonishing PULP-O-MIZER, right here in Cornelius Zappencackler's Derange-O-Lab!"

Mr. Schenck has created the Pulp-o-Mizer, a web-based designer of retro SciFi magazine covers.  One can create and download without charge.  But he hopes you will appreciate his work and his generosity with a donation.  I certainly plan to.  Anyone who gives this much joy with such absolute brilliance, technical mastery, and unmitigated wit deserves patronage.  Thank you sir!

01 March 2013

The Typewriter That Once Was a Fish

Back in early January, inspired by author Mary Robinette Kowal's "Month of Letters" creative letter-writing notion, I set myself the challenge of re-engaging with my Correspondence Life.

It worked out fairly well.  Her idea was that one would write a letter on every day in February on which one typically received one's post - about 23 letters, when one subtracted out Sundays and President's Day.  

To make it even more fun, I splurged and ordered fancy Forever stamps from the USPS

 And really indulged with a sheet of the new International Forever stamps!

And entertained myself at one point creating this envelope for a pen friend, a fellow Friend of Oz.

(This is a screen grab from Word, where I made it.  I don't usually photograph my personal outgoing letters.)

Somedays I wrote one letter, somedays two, or only two pages of a longer letter. It didn't seem like I was writing as often as I wanted to.  But by the end of the month the little Post-It on which I kept count showed I had sent out a total of 24 letters - one over Ms. Robinette Kowal's happy challenge number!

 My messy but surprisingly productive letter-writing corner.
(The pink fabric is my ersatz typewriter cover.)

But perhaps the most fun thing I mailed out in the February Month of Letters was something to make letters.  I sent off one of my typewriters!  It  happened some months ago that one of my pen friends and I were talking about typewriters and she mentioned that she hoped to someday find a small teal portable.  So it seemed rather apt during this adventurous month that a machine of that very description went from my house to hers.

I had named it Little Nemo for its lovely ocean color. It was a Bradford Brother - made in Japan. In one of his wonderful histories,  Robert Messenger of Oz Typewriter wrote about The Brother Typewriter (and I was so pleased that he included an image of Little Nemo in his write up). It was one of the first machines I found "in the wild" - hidden away in the locked glass case of a local Goodwill. And until I bought a Skyriter this past year (see image above), it was my go-to machine when I wanted to type plein air.

Having amassed a range of machines over the past two years I have recently been taking a look at my collection with a fresh eye.  Most important, it seems, is that they get used!  This one, though I much liked its sweet little form and snappy key action, wasn't getting the attention it deserved.  

And the best fun of all was that she didn't know to expect it!  

I'd deliberately implied the package was a "small" one and was there an address I could send it to that would not find it left out in the cold.  She writes her letters to me in fountain pen, so she took that to mean it might be a bottle of ink that ought not freeze.  I did not disabuse her!  And to my delight she told me that it is very like the machine she typed on as a girl and had long missed. 

She tells me she has named it Miss Blue.  And now no longer a fish and no longer not being used.  Thus as it should be in the Typosphere.

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