What the @#$% is a Type-IN ?

A Type-IN is a “Jam Session for manual typewriters and the people who love them.”

NOTE: the next Philly Type in is set for Saturday, Oct. 25th, 2014 at 2nd & Pine Sts. Philadelphia.  

Meet up by 12:30 p.m.


There are various ingredients to the recipe

Read on for some background on the subject of Type=INs….

Location: usually in a pub or cafe or bookstore with a good amount of flat space and a very good-natured management.

As far as the Philadelphia version of a Type-IN, past events have featured:

• lots of manual typewriters clicking and clacking.

• nice stationery to type out a letter–and stamps!

• a Speed Typing Contest with, er, chintzy prizes.

• some bad Typewriter Jokes!

and usually some surprises.. at the end, we have a Typewriter Swap and Sale, so if you have an extra typewriter, bring one to trade.

History of the Philadelphia Type-IN — the first one ever held, according to the New York Times,  grew from a figment to a fig tree, or something like that.

THE SCENE: late fall in Philadelphia, as the bike season winds down. Casting an eye over the cast iron casings of the classic typers scattered around my home, I wondered–who else was doing the same?  I thought how grim the usual Laptopistan cafe scene is, where the brightest bulb in the room is the Apple logo, and considered what a gang of typewriters would sound like instead of that chitinous clicking completely lacking in bells. A lovely pub manager agreed to share that hallucination and presto–a Type-IN.

How To Do a Type-IN in Your Town:

1) bring at least 3 of your own manual typewriters. Make sure to use verbs in your poster/PR. Somehow be specific that this is about manual, not electric typewriting, perhaps even saying something about not enough outlets near the site (true in our case!)

2) consider bringing your standard 8′ long folding table to line up typers for swapping, and/or a typing competition. I brought one at the last minute and boy was I glad, as the round style tables weren’t that typewriter-friendly. Also, eight-plus people lined up along a table clacking away is a great audiovisual.

3) Throw PR darts wildly; I emailed writer’s programs and english professors, design studios and fancy stationery stores. Then I mailed about 75 flyers to some of the above, as well as to vintage record joints, thrift stores and every single dang espresso joint near the target pub. Finally, mailed a one-page press release boldly claiming that typewriters were following vinyl records out of the grave that digitalization is digging for everything analog.

4) Have props–use old cardboard to make easels, with a one-page text for the typing competition, bring some nice stationery and envelopes and stamps… we might even bring cheap perfume to splash on the letters this next time–as it’s before Valentine’s Day!

5) Introduce everyone to everyone, and scout out the best couple of typists–then draft them to help people load paper, figure out machines and so on.

6) We also drafted Matt Cidoni (because he is waay fast WPM) and had him type the guest list–next time must get land mail addresses, not just email!

Then make sure you are early, as typewriter people seem to be punctual…

For more details… web around and see how others have wrangled their Type-INs; copy the parts you like. The Blueprint for Type-INs, if any, is scribbled in crayon and pencil!


a very organized and nice guy is keeping track of Type-Ins, at:   www.type-in.org. 


8 responses to “What the @#$% is a Type-IN ?

  1. Lisa Kruk

    I saw your post on craigslist. You will not believe this, but my 11year old son is obsessed with manual typewriters. He is the proud owner of 5…2 Olympia and 3 Underwood…and still collecting…eagerly awaiting the spring garage sale season. Too bad this is in a pub….he would love to join you all 🙂

    • NOTE: Fergie’s is a pub, but also a restaurant, kids can come in as long as a grown up brings em….
      my son is now 14, but he’s been in Fergie’s many times, where his fave is 7-Up, with cherry juice…
      — we would welcome him to swing by!

  2. Pingback: 2nd Philadelphia Type-In [Photos] « Geekadelphia

  3. Hi Mike.

    I just got off the telephone with Jessica Bruder. We talked about typewriters for the upcoming piece she’s writing. She spoke of you and is very excited about the typewriter movement of the last few years.

    This post has links to all the various press (pictures included) from the Snohomish (Seattle-area) type-in:

    Take care,

  4. Sue

    Hi! Is there a date for the next Type-in?

    • Greetings, well… yes… and yes.
      First, there’s TAPE ‘n TYPE — “two mature technologies walk into a bar…”
      we’re inviting audio cassette fans to bring decks, boom boxes, etc…
      and typewriter fans to bring manual typewriters…
      oh, and nice stationery and high-bias TDK and Maxell….
      Do you have BOTH audio cassette and typewriter stuff–bring it all!

      Enjoy a speed typing contest, a mixtape mystery swap box and more…
      WHEN: SAT., 15 OCT. 2-6
      WHERE: Fergie’s Pub, 1214 Sansom St. Phila. (upstairs)
      FREE (of course–it’s a DESIGNPHILADELPHIA event)
      WIFTY PRIZES (sure, why not)
      RSVP TO phillytyper@gmail.com

      Then in mid-December, the 2nd Anniversary of the First-Ever Type-IN … returns to Philadelphia…. exact date/place TBD… details soonest.

  5. Pingback: Ok, Seal of Geek Approval! | phillytyper

  6. Pingback: Type-In am National Typewriter Day, den 23. Juni 2022 in Wiesloch - typewriterrescue.com

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