Category Archives: International Typewriter Appreciation Month


Well, for WTD, decided to make use of a lovely electrical outlet right along the bike path near my house–loaded up a bike trailer hitched to the trusty Brompton folder bike with an IBM Selectric II, a long cord and a little school desk. Stuck an Olivetti Lettera 32 in the Brompton front bag and rode  7/10 of  a mile to the spot, right next to the Schuylkill.

Felt a bit like a snafu at first as runners and cyclists zipped past, not even bothering to look at the printout of the original Sholes, Glidden and Soule patent from June 23, 1868–much less the sheet proclaiming it World Typewriter Day. But soon enough some more curious types gave the Selectric a try.

Jay and Javier weigh in for World Typewriter Day

Jay and Javier weigh in for World Typewriter Day

Sadly, I was unable to follow through on R. Polt’s “alternative materials” suggestion. I had brought along a couple Chemex coffee filters to type on, but never got them out. Also a bit miffed that no one took me up on some suggested letter targets: had brought a sheet with the mailing addresses for President Obama, the Pope and Benedict Cumberbatch, among others. Maybe at the next Type-IN?

Millennial Youth writes analog letter with Selectric II, by the river's edge.

Millennial Youth writes analog letter with Selectric II, by the river’s edge.

But this young man, a recent Upenn grad, did take the time to write a quick letter to a family member–I lent him a fountain pen to sign it with. Both action were firsts for him, I believe, and I suspect, for the letter’s recipient.  As the sun dipped low, loaded everything back onto the trailer and was home in time for a little dinner. Bless you, U.S. Patent Office, for making this World Typewriter Day possible.

PS -An hour later, the mailbox had a snack, clunking its satisfaction at the evening treat from our Penn grad, now a consultant for Accenture.



Filed under IBM SELECTRIC, International Typewriter Appreciation Month, Olivetti Lettera 32, public typewriting, Type-IN

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, farewell

Today’s NYT has a slideshow on the magical realist writer, including a nice desk shot where he is using an unknown (to me, that is) typewriter.



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Filed under International Typewriter Appreciation Month, manual typewriter, private typing, public typewriting, Typewriters in the media

Singapore a typewriter haven? Who knew?

Richard Polt knew, that’s who.  A while back, sold a typewriter to a young gal who said she was from Singapore, which prompted RP to observe that that that city-state is a global center for typewriter collection.

An idle search found lots of proof that typing machines are finding favor in a place that thinks nothing of balancing a cruise ship atop a skyscraper:


Such as this site, “AITYPE”

To me, typewriters are not “cute” things, but a few minutes on this mega-cheery site, and I started to think, hmmm, maybe  some Hello Kitty stickers would make my SG-1 easier to carry–then a few minutes more, and  saw there was much more to this site; Aitype eloquently expresses the deep connection to the past that these machines embody–and young as she may be (at least compared to me or her machines!), she’s already working to make sure that people younger than her dig the clack.  

And she may have coined a lovely new word–at least I personally haven’t seen it anywhere else before– here it is, as Karen of Singapore puts it on Aitype:

<<<< Bring a laptap (typewriter) instead of a laptop to a family picnic… >>> 

LAPTAP.   It already brings to mind a variation–  desktap — for larger typing machines.

What think’st the typosphere — is this a new noun for an old machine? Should it get into usage? Has she coined this word or has she simply acquired it from elsewhere? (yes, PC maker Micromax is selling something they call a Laptap–but good luck with that!)

As far as its noun status–my mind has set like lime Jello in the fridge;  must fetch the laptap (which word currently requires a quick backspace to foil the spellcheck which of course, keeps saying, “you must mean lapTOP” and must learn “lapTAP” is what I in fact meant) and impress some words on wood pulp;  Cheers and happy tapping.

mcget/ phillytyper


Filed under International Typewriter Appreciation Month



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April 7, 2013 · 12:01 am

WSJ’s take on Typewriter “Appreciation”

Well, this May might be dubbed I.T.$A.M. , according to the Feb. 16 Wall Street Journal; they previewed an upcoming Cologne auction with some machines tabbed to bring $10 to $20 thou! That’s still well below the $254k Cormac McCarthy’s worn-out Lettera 32 fetched. Ha! I’ll give you a much better deal on mine–if I could just manage to wear it out typing a few best-sellers.


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Filed under cormac mccarthy, International Typewriter Appreciation Month, Olivetti Lettera 32

I TAM, etc…


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February 16, 2013 · 10:50 pm