Lately, I've been looking at manual typewriters again, as you may have noticed. There are some real beauties out there, like the Corona 3 I own, the multicolored Corona Four that followed it or the colorful Royal, Underwood and Remington portables. Underwood, in what may be some kind of play on their name, did woodgrain paintjobs in a handful of colors, including walnut, ash, red and a deep green that might be imitation marble and Royal offered nifty shaded solid colors, while Remington turned out two-tone machines sparkling with 1920s curb appeal -- not to mention sleek Steamliners in the 1930s! Neat stuff; I'm all agog over a Remington orchid & lilac two-tone.
But I don't know enough about them. Some of the old machines have known weak spots, design flaws and parts made of Unobtanium. No point in collecting doorstops, at least not for me, so it's time to learn more. Collectors being the way they are, the Web is full of info and photographs and I commenced to web-wander.
It didn't take long to trip over the venerable and useful Classic Typewriter Page and once there, my attention was caught by a link to a discussion of what must have been a shining moment for typewriter fans: the CBS G. W. Bush "National Guard" letter forgeries. The site-owner provides analysis from the kind of expert experts look up to, a man who knows just about all there is to know about proportional-spacing typewriters, one Fred Woodworth. The name seems familiar and we're informed he is an anarchist.... Oh, that Fred Woodworth!
Can't say he and I would agree everywhere (he floats a notion about the forgeries, for instance...) but it appears he is the sort of surly curmudgeon I admire, avoiding computers and doing his own printing with a very high degree of skill and stubbornness.
Small darned world, isn't it? Now, where's that tinfoil? My old hat's all filled up with CIA mind-control waves! Um, or not.
YANKEE RADIO TOOL KIT, #106
5 weeks ago