Winners of the speed typing competition!


Here are some sketchy  details (my specialty) from Son of Type-IN

==And what goes better with sketchy details than a fuzzy iPhone picture?

Here we’ve got Mr. Steven Rea (at right) and Robin Palley (at left), both journalists and both rather speedy typists. They rattled their way to the fastest times in the Speed Typing Competition at Son of Type-IN on Sunday, 10 December, 2011. Smack dab in the middle is young Brian Kruk–he’s just a dozen years old, and he grabbed third place in Speed Typing.  Mr. Kruk also brought a pair of awesome typewriters–a three-bank Corona, and a “field typewriter” made by Olympia that had a most unusual past–it was made to be used by the German army.

But there’s more to the story; lettered on the bottom of the Olympia’s battered wooden case was a name — “J.L. Nelson” –and a US Army man’s Serial Number.  So at some point, this machine had been captured by the Allied forces and relabeled.  Mr. Kruk’s mom actually looked into the G.I.’s service number, and found that this soldier lived in Lansdale, PA. Mr. Nelson, sadly, passed away a few months ago. But he helped bring an unusual machine back to the States and saved a bit of typewriter–and world–history.  This tied obliquely into the text used for the Speed  Typing–an excerpt from Ernst Kreuder’s The Attic Pretenders–the first book to be published in Germany after the war ended. Ah, coincidence!

Ms. Palley had her choice of a Lettera 32 by Olivetti, or an Olympus SM-9–she went with the compact!  Thus Steven now has an Olympia SM9 to keep his Hermes 3000 company.

Let’s see: attendance — about 25 or 30, enough that every table at Bridgewater’s Pub was taken, and we actually kidnapped a few tables and chairs from the food court to make sure everyone could sit down and type.  Bystanders:–a good number, and a couple even sat down to type a spell.

Hosting: The M.C. (er, me)  seemed to be a bit schedule-obsessed, even crabby, barking at people as he speechified elements of the event. So… hope my apologies for allowing my crustacean heritage to emerge will be accepted!

Co-Hosts: Michael Ardito of Home Town Business Machines and Typist Extraordinaire Matt Cidino did yeoman duty;  keeping paper in everyone’s rollers and collecting all manner of typed missives. They were joined in this by Trophy Bikes’ TJ Seningen (who sustained a flesh wound on a “No Stopping” sign during our load-out–he’s healing nicely) and by walk-on wonder Lauren Zapata–a young writer who moves her work back and forth from computer to typewriter during the creative process. They helped fill up the cheeriness deficit created by yours truly.

Media: CBS Sunday Morning sent a very nice producer and camera man; she asked 99 questions, he shot lots of footage and interviews, we will let everyone (especially my mom!) know when the story is due to air.

Venue: as always, Leslie Spellman, proprietorette (new word?) of Bridgewater’s Pub, dealt us a great hand, and helped squeeze out a little more space as more and more people arrived with boxes tucked under their arms.

The Machines: It was not a vintage collector’s paradise: this Son of Type-IN was a gathering of work horses:  Olympia SFs, Splendid 33s, and Socialites; stolid Remington Quiet-Riters; a whole row of Olympia SM9s; and the largest machine, a pristine Hermes Ambassador courtesy of Matt Cidoni. This desktop beast (clad in Hermes’ weirdly soothing Seafoam Green) had a beauty of a touch, and has me looking for desks big enough to hold one!

Will try to post more pictures–though I took very few, and am hoping for the kindness of former strangers who I spotted bleeping away at the event.

Will try also to post some typing from the event or the aftermath. But let’s get this up onto the InterWeb firstly.




December 10, 2011 · 4:22 pm

2 responses to “Winners of the speed typing competition!

  1. I stopped by with my son to get some advice on the Remington Noiseless Portable I had in my basement for so long. Everyone was very helpful and the energy around the tables was electric (no pun intended). Because of scheduling conflicts we stayed only long enough to have TJ and Michael give the Remington a once over and estimate the cost of getting it working again. We also met a gentleman who promised to give the RNP a good home so we decided to part with it so it wouldn’t spend another 20 years sitting all alone in the basement. I hope to see more pictures and pray that my schedule will allow me to stay longer at the next Philly Type-IN!

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