Category Archives: Olympia SM9

Typewriters meet Tech on April 29!

Philly Tech Week 2016 starts not with a bang, but with a beep, with the Dilworth ARCADE Party an evening bash for the digerati.

On Friday, April 29, the west side of Philadelphia’s City Hall will be jammed with coders, gamers, electronic musicians and more.

But WAIT–what’s that sound? That clickety, clack, ding! ?

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LAST YEAR, WE HAD JUST TWO TYPEWRITERS AT THE ARCADE PARTY; they were a hit and we’ve been invited back to do a full-fledged Type-IN.

Yes, there will be a Type-IN at the Arcade, showing off the noisy mechanical roots of word processing to the youngest generation, digital natives for whom the typewriter has a completely different attraction.

Brian Kravitz (of Philly Typewriter) and Michael Ardith (of Hometown Business Machines) will be on hand with two rows full of manual typewriters, from vintage desk top machines to sleek Italian portables.

We’ll also have an IBM Selectric –arguably the peak of analog typewriting history–available to astonish those who’ve never seen a type-ball dance like a hummingbird pecking words onto paper.

We will have a Speed Competition, and other surprise activities for your type-writing pleasure. It’s free, of course–thanks to Messrs. Ardito and Kravitz, and Trophy Bikes , the semi-official stamp and paper sponsor of the Type-IN at Tech Week.

The ARCADE PARTY starts at 5 p.m.. We figure the Speed Competition (with chintzy prizes) will start at around 7:30 p.m. NOTE: spaces limited for the contest. Please sign up in advance when you arrive!

 

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Filed under Analog Events, Olivetti Lettera 32, Olympia SM9, public typewriting, Typewriters in the media

Philly’s PRETZEL PARK Type-IN gets some media coverage

WHYY/Newsworks was nice enough to send a photog/reporter to cover last Saturdays clack-a-thon in the park. Have to laugh that the first photo is of me obviously chiding a young person: “Errrmph! Please type with just two fingers to avoid key jams–it’s like you’ve never used a manual typewriter before, really!”

Here’s the link to the Newsworks story.

And here are a few pics:

Young people encounter vintage typing machines...

Young people encounter vintage typing machines…

Bryan Kruk always brings some lovely machines; here a pair of Olivetti ICOs -- one in matte black and one in a glossy piano black. Bellissimo!

Bryan Kruk always brings some lovely machines; here’s a pair of Olivetti ICOs — one in matte black and one in a glossy piano black. Bellissimo, Mr. K!

Ah, such a crisp design could only foster concision!

Ah, such a crisp design could only foster concision!

Let's have a closer look at that OLIVETTI ICO, shall we? You know what's really annoying--that this machine types as beautifully as it looks! Thank you, men and women of Olivetti, S.A.

Let’s have a closer look at that OLIVETTI ICO, shall we? What’s really astonishing is that this machine types as beautifully as it looks! Thank you, men and women of Olivetti, S.A.

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Filed under Analog Events, Hermes, Hermes Ambassador, International Typewriter Appreciation Month, manual typewriter, Olivetti Lettera 22, Olivetti Lettera 32, Olympia SF Cursive, Olympia SG-1, Olympia SM 3, Olympia SM7, Olympia SM9, Olympia Socialite, public typewriting, Remington typewriter

Typewriters Clack Up The Crowd At Philly Tech Week Kick-Off Jam

OK, Chris Wink, one of the co-founders of Technically Philly (and featured in an earlier post here) , invited us to set up a Mini-Type-IN at the opening bash of Philly Tech Week. We trundled an Olivetti Lettera 22, an Olympia SM9, and several hundred sheets of bond paper into Dilworth Plaza next to City Hall.  Surrounded by scores of tables packed with the latest circuitry, we were prepared to be mocked, or worse, ignored, by tech-centric millennials. Au Contraire, Claire!

We wore out our voicebox explaining the two machines; there was a line of thrilled first-time-typists (and a few nostalgists as well) waiting to get a clack at our machines from the opening bleep till closing (nearly 30 minutes over the limit). Parents boasted to their disbelieving kids, “I used to write actual homework assignments on one of those.”  Satisfied neo-typists dashed off clutching the “hard copy” they’d stamped out with their force of their own little digits.  We hope to see some of these fresh young faces at the Type-IN on May 16th in Manayunk!  Thanks, Philly Tech Week, for letting some classic QWERTY operators hang out with the chipsters!

techtype

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Filed under Analog Events, manual typewriter, Olivetti Lettera 22, Olympia SM9

Tweens Take Over Philly Type-IN!

When you schedule a Type-IN and it turns out to be set right next to a big Pumpkin Fest for kids, you toss the program out the window and just keep loading paper into those machines and unsticking the occasional rugby scrum of type bars. These Tweens dug typing, and we went way over schedule. Michael Ardito of Hometown Business Machines helped with crowd control, brought a stack of his typewriters and gave out a lot of cards. He also answered some typewriter history and technology questions from the kids. Numerous parents had whispered Xmas present conversations, about which we can say no more, nudge, nudge, wink-wink!

This young man comes from a typewriter-equipped home; he set to  and immediately began a chapter story.

This young man comes from a typewriter-equipped home; he set to and immediately began a chapter story.

This is about the fifth set of typers we had on the machines–and we had a blast. Thanks to one and all.

Here's a group pic of tomorrow's typists!

Here’s a group pic of tomorrow’s typists!

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Filed under Analog Events, Hermes Rocket Typewriter, manual typewriter, Olivetti Lettera 22, Olivetti Lettera 32, Olympia SF Cursive, Olympia SM 3, Olympia SM7, Olympia SM9, Olympia Socialite, Philadelphia, public typewriting, Remington typewriter, Type-IN

IBM in the Ivy League

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Matriculated! Or curated, at any rate…. The Institute of Contemporary Art ( icaphila.org )at the University of Pennsylvania wanted visitors to their 50th Anniversary Exhibition (now through Aug. 17.) to be able to type their thoughts. Left an Olympia SM-9, a massive Olympia SG-1, and an IBM Selectric II to choose from… They went with the Selectric–still period correct, certainly a design classic worthy of the ICA and impossible to jam. Will monitor the scene and see what gets typed….

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Filed under IBM SELECTRIC, manual typewriter, Olympia SG-1, Olympia SM9, public typewriting

Manual Reporting, ca. 1962

Here’s a double row of newspaper pros clacking their stories backstage at the 1962 Academy Awards. Photo by William Lovelace/Express/Getty Images–as seen in AdWeek’s 3/24 issue, which noted that West Side Story won Best Picture back then. There must be two dozen machines; bet that made an awesome sound.

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Filed under manual typewriter, Olympia SG-1, Olympia SM9, public typewriting, Remington typewriter, Uncategorized

All work and etc…

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February 3, 2014 · 6:26 pm

Ach! Not one more Schreibmaschinen of the medium persuasion.

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Oh dang, for $5, really what else could I do? It followed me home this SM-3 , like five bucks these days is practically free; yes I’ve got an SM-9 (or four) , and have little use for one machine more. It may wind up on the basement shelf, next to that SG-1 that seemed lonely by itself. “Restorable,” that hopeful word, will likely send this machine, and me, up to New York and Gramercy… Sooner or later, new
platen and rollers, then back to the Wilmhelmshaven herd, gradually transforming this rowhome into Mount Olympia. It’s the only maroon two- tone Olympia I have got… Why did I get it? How could I not?

 

CORRECTION: Due to an editing error, a previous version of this story stated that the Olympia SM-3 was the only two-toned Olympia in Mr. McGettigan’s collection. This is incorrect, as Olympia SM-9s are generally cream and dark grey; as are the 2 Olympia SFs that Mr. McGettigan failed to even mention in his missive. The Olympia Socialite might be also, but it’s in the basement and we’re not going to check it, as that will just weaken the entire narrative even more.  Phillytyper more or less regrets the error, though we do not even feel a faded shred of regret having 9 (or is it 10?) Olympia typewriters, as some people collect Maseratis or Corkscrews and THAT is really weird, so let’s worry about them first, shall we?

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Filed under manual typewriter, Olympia SM 3, Olympia SM9, Olympia Socialite

Without Whom None of This Would Have Been Plausible

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Of course, let’s start with Mom*  and Dad as the first light cards against that black hole of an empty Rolodex 2400 (Made in Secaucus, NJ) , and yes, that eraser is blocking mum’s maiden name as we know many fiendish, identity-swiping super-criminals start their day by skimming Phillytyper!

If you’re out there, super-criminals, do please contact me care of this blog; I would be very receptive to swapping lifestyles on a crash basis–as tomorrow is trash day, and the kitchen tiles are buckling.

* Note that Ruth McGettigan is still with us at 90-plus; most recently she told me, “I got one of those old Ouija Boards — but nobody will play it with me,” and laughed.

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Filed under Olympia SM9, Rolodex, Uncategorized

Filling Up The Rolodex

Rolodex

This can hold a lot of cards. The plan: fill out and insert cards every day until it’s full, or embarrassingly, still hungry. Who gets into the Rolodex? Anyone I’ve met in person who I’ve exchanged names with at minimum, or can somehow say of them, “I know/knew/love/hated/can’t forget/played drums for or just plain met –him/her/that bastard/that angel/that genius, etc.” Amount of detail may vary. May contain nuts.

Found an old IBM Selectric Manual which showed how to make a “pleat” to hold smaller cards so they are amenable to typewriting. This removed the last obstacle to starting this Rolodex project–since common sense has long since waved me on with a resigned sigh.

 

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October 26, 2013 · 11:04 pm