A long & wordy alternative to the usual short & snappy press release:
It’s been a year since the first Type-IN was held in Philadelphia at Bridgewater’s Pub, within 30th Street Station. This ad hoc event had several parts–—a typing speed competition with chintzy prizes; a typewritten letter/mailing session; and the swapping/selling of typewriters. About a dozen people attended. So did a squad of reporters attracted by the atavistic clacking of one-off printing presses. They wrote of the old typewriter’s newfound charm, versus the tide of fluorescent plastic now decreed to be the proper way to read and write. A number of stories ensued; even the New York Times took notice.
Since that first dinky event, Type-INs have been held in a dozen cities in the US [and a couple in Switzerland].
Neotyping was already underway elsewhere—via the Internet “Typosphere”, of course. Fewer writing machines are being slaughtered to make jewelry from their keys, instead being treasured by hipsters, which can’t be all bad.
The components of a Type-IN are hardly set in stone; it must include functioning manual typewriters and paper. Beyond that, the only limitations are what can be accomplished with a manual keyboard, conversation, and perhaps a beer. For that reason, many Type-INs have been staged in pubs.
It is my opinion that using an acoustic guitar affects what music is being played; same with a manual typewriter. Hand typing materializes writing that appears permanent and polished, yet fallible. You are suddenly holding an actual artifact that can be immediately examined, mailed, filed, given away or crumpled in a ball and arced into a trash basket.
Typewritten pages can be read by anyone—but not by everyone at once. They can’t be directly scanned for commercial, political or criminal gain. They can be scanned and shared as a hybrid of hand and web.
While various agencies may still open and read letters, the risk of this is small. There is the fact that high tech (even with so-called touch screens) is low touch. Our hands evolved to act with skill and force on the world we describe in words. Here are three words about manual typing: Privacy. Proficiency. Permanence.
For these and other reasons (such as having far too many typing machines), there will be a second (Son Of) Type-IN, in Philadelphia, on Sat., Dec. 10th from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Bridgewater’s Pub–located in 30th Street Station, 30th & Market Streets.
Attendees can expect to encounter: a Typing Speed Competition (fastest woman and fastest man each will win a typewriter), a Holiday Letter Writer Session — with nice stationery and envelopes provided– a typewriter swap/sale, a Roller Call (we’ll explain it when you get there), and a bit more, all within the casual confines of a classic saloon/restaurant.
(all ages • FREE with manual typewriter or stamped envelope
— Michael McGettigan