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11-9-2016 16:17:59  #1


Funny or Weird Stories Involving Typewriters

As with cars or homes or, especially, people--there are funny and/or weird stories about them, involving them, or having them somehow contributing something.  I say typewriters, those mechanical lettermakers that seem to multiply in our homes as we attempt to "find room for just one more," are no exception.  Who has a weird, strange, and/or funny story concerning a typewriter or a number of typewriters they'd like to share.  One such story I have right now is how I got my 1916 Royal 10.  It was sometime in the fall of 1994, and the local university (that be Baylor), just hosted a home football game.  I was coming home from the nearby grocery store, and had to dodge all that traffic coming from the stadium.  On one of the back roads I took, I caught a glimpse of a typewriter at a garage sale.  I stopped and found it was an old Royal manual.  A little girl was selling it.  I told her I would trade her an IBM electric typewriter for it.  She agreed, and I came back to her house with a 1957 IBM model B that I had recently reconditioned.  I then took delivery of one of my best treasures that I have to this very day.


Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
 

13-9-2016 08:44:18  #2


Re: Funny or Weird Stories Involving Typewriters

Was that kid able to tote the Selectric back to her house??

Not much of a story, more of a coincidence. Thanksgiving weekend of 2014 I was up in Maine at our vacation house Down East (since sold, alas -- just too far away). Anyway, the local library a few doors down has a perpetual book sale, so I stopped by since I hadn't been there in a while. Lo and behold, there was a nice paperback copy of the Wilfred Beeching book, "A Century of Typewriters." And later that day, at the local "transfer station" (as they call the dump), I spotted an interesting looking case with a partly busted zipper. Inside was a Remington Fleetwing, which I still have but which has a carriage issue. So that is how I got started in this hobby!

 

14-9-2016 17:11:24  #3


Re: Funny or Weird Stories Involving Typewriters

HO ho!!  "Century of the Typewriter" is a GREAT book!!  I used to check this one out everytime I could when I went to Texas State Technical College when I went there.  Learned a lot out of that book.  Your story brings to mind a typewriter I bought my mother back when I was 16 for Mother's Day.  It was just like the first one she had that she knew and loved.  This was an Underwood Rhythm Shift.  These behemoths weigh about 35 pounds. I bought that thing from a Goodwill store, and walked about four miles down the road (that was before I got my driver's license), carrying this beast all the way.  I finally got home with it, and two very sore arms.  Maw was pleasantly surprised, though, and that made it all worthwhile.


Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
     Thread Starter
 

22-9-2016 21:25:55  #4


Re: Funny or Weird Stories Involving Typewriters

Got another story!!  I remember back in Junior High, I bragged to a friend I could find out anything about most anyone, given enough time.  This one girl must have overheard me, and she decided to "mail" me a test about herself she typed up.  When I say "mailed," I mean, passed through about twenty or so other students who then passed it onto other students, and eventually, it made its way to me.  I got the thing, and it asked me if I knew her birthday, her home town, her middle name, and her favorite movie, among a few other questions.  Don't know whether I passed it or not, but there was one thing strange about that test that I will never forget, and I haven't seen this before or since:  When she wanted a number one, she would type a capital letter I.  She must have borrowed from Roman numerology, but seeing something like number I6 instead of 16 was a little strange.  Again, I hadn't seen it before, nor have I since.


Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
     Thread Starter
 

23-9-2016 21:51:40  #5


Re: Funny or Weird Stories Involving Typewriters

Actually, I have seen at least one person on this forum who uses that convention. I think he posted a typing sample, and I commented on it at the time; no response, so I don't have any more information about it. Maybe a Commonwealth thing?

 

24-9-2016 16:45:57  #6


Re: Funny or Weird Stories Involving Typewriters

I don't know, but it seems to me that she probably thought a capital letter I must have looked more like a number 1 than a lower case l did.  With that, I wonder about the typewriter she used.  Judging what I know about that particular typeface, it must have been a Royal, and I'm thinking that maybe the one she used didn't have the number 1 key.


Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
     Thread Starter
 

24-9-2016 20:11:45  #7


Re: Funny or Weird Stories Involving Typewriters

I have a 50's Smith-Corona Silent with Elite Gothic No. 16, a small caps sans, and with that typeface, I have to use an upper case "i" for the one. I didn't think about it until I went to address an envelope.

 

24-9-2016 21:02:02  #8


Re: Funny or Weird Stories Involving Typewriters

That's different.  The letter I there, as well as here, does not have serifs on top or bottom.  The courier typeface on the machine my test proctor used had serifs on all the capital I's, making it an unusual choice to represent the number one.  I didn't say it was wrong for her to have used it that way, I just pointed out that it was a unique approach in numerology.


Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
     Thread Starter
 

06-11-2016 20:08:55  #9


Re: Funny or Weird Stories Involving Typewriters

Fleetwing wrote:

Actually, I have seen at least one person on this forum who uses that convention. I think he posted a typing sample, and I commented on it at the time; no response, so I don't have any more information about it. Maybe a Commonwealth thing?

I've got an update--I did see this in a movie just very recently, and it's a movie everyone must watch:  Finding Forrester with Sean Connery as this older author, who befriends a youth who broke into his house.  The kid slowly becomes a writer just like Connery's character.  I won't divulge the entire plot, but it's a must-see.  Anyway, I saw in part of this movie where the old author kept some manuscripts according to their years.  And all these years in this file, which were all in the 20th century (19something), had a capital I representing the one.  So I'm not sure if it is a Commonwealth phenomenon or if it was his own peculiarity.  I'm going to have to do more research, but all I know is that this was the second time I saw this.  Watch the movie, it's a good 'un.
 


Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
     Thread Starter
 

06-11-2016 23:34:19  #10


Re: Funny or Weird Stories Involving Typewriters

For character sets without a numeral 1, many do use the capital 'I' (ooops - system won't allow insertion of serif cap - I mean the capital of the 9th letter of the alphabet; 'eye') - but I would suggest all such try the lower-case letter L instead, as this is usually a better stand in.


Sincerely,
beak.
 
 

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