Tag Archives: Type-IN
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! ?
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!
Please join us in the historic Manayunk section of Philadelphia on Saturday, May 16th, for the Type-IN.
We will be at Pretzel Park, Silverwood & Cotton Streets (just minutes from the Manayunk station of SEPTA regional rail). Starts noon, Typing Speed Contest at 1:30 (must sign up by 1 p.m.).
NOTE: If rain is more than 50% in forecast, we will set up in LUCKY’S LAST CHANCE, 4421 Main St., in their palatial second floor lounge. But current weather report shows a long clear stretch from before noon to late afternoon.
Among the typewriters confirmed in attendance:
Olivetti Lettera 22 (as shown above) ; Olivetti Lettera 32 ; Olympia Socialite; Olympia SF, Olympia SM-3, Olympia SM-9, Olympia SG-1; Remington Portable One. All of these will be in working condition and ready to try out. (another dozen machines are on the way from Staten Island, so expect a diverse selection to compare. FLASH: New typewriter guests confirmed late Friday night: Underwood 5 , Underwood Noiseless, Royal 10, Singer Pro Portable, SCM Sterling, Underwood 21, SCM Galaxy 12, & more!
THANKS AND HOPE TO HEAR YOUR CLACK, JACK!
At Lucky’s Last Chance in Manayunk; typing up the agenda for Saturday’s Type-IN! (Olivetti Lettera 32 fueled with vintage Anheuser-Busch letterhead. Tomorrow: gather up chintzy prizes for the Speed Contest, ha.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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….