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10-8-2017 15:05:41  #1


Math professor's typewriter

Hi,

while browsing I accidentally came over this typewriter on ebay (not mine): http://www.ebay.de/itm/202012134362 -- this is an Olympia with a pretty math-centric keyboard. I've never seen something like that before. Even with this I still think that writing the math by hand would be easier, because you cannot really have all the symbols needed on the small keyspace provided by usual typewriters.

sirius

 

10-8-2017 15:09:58  #2


Re: Math professor's typewriter

Olympia offered dozens of special type sets, and math symbols was one of them. I imagine that an SM7 like that might have been used at the time by a math teacher to cut stencils and print out exams for his poor students.


"To save time is to lengthen life."
 

13-8-2017 02:31:40  #3


Re: Math professor's typewriter

Sounds legit. Does there exist a list of which special type sets manufacturers like Olympia produced? Most German typewriters have a pretty boring keyboard with only a handful of special characters which I very much regret. I don't understand for example why the umlauts äöü got their own 3 (three!) keys on the precious limited keyspace on the typewriters instead of using a dead key for the diaeresis (the two dots above the letters). This loses space for as much as 5 special characters (2*3 - 1), though if one replaced the pretty useless french dead key for grave (`) with a dead key for diaeresis, it'd be 6. Only my Olympia SG1 has an extra key next to the umlaut keys with special characters.

Once I have settled for a typewriter for permanent use, I hope I can find a diaeresis typebar for it and replace the grave/acute key with that. Then I can replace the äöü keys with some of the special keys usually found on US typewriters (like an @ sign or #, both of which would be cool).

sirius

     Thread Starter
 

13-8-2017 07:03:08  #4


Re: Math professor's typewriter

Here's an introduction to special keyboards: <http://xoverit.blogspot.com/2015/02/272-international-keyboard-layouts.html>. Enjoy!

Please keep in mind that these typewrites were not built just for you. A "boring" keyboard? These were not made for entertainment, but rather designed with decades of experience in their markets, for use by serious people. Testing and customer feedback played their parts and what couldn't be handled on the production line was handled with special orders for individuals who were not you. Any typewriter you come across will be a second-hand example, perhaps made for someone who wrote in French and didn't mind getting stuck with a "pretty useless french dead key for grave".

There are typewriters with features that might fit your special needs. Keep looking for them instead of regretting that other people were different in the days before video games.

Meanwhile try to use a Smith-Corona Galaxie class or Coronet or the like which at least make it easy for you to customise four of the characters and many more if you can tolerate swapping while working.

I realize that posting questions on here is part of your research; just keep in mind what you said in your post, "I don't understand...."


 

 

18-8-2017 21:12:31  #5


Re: Math professor's typewriter

Oh my god, that math Olympia went for A DOLLAR AND SEVENTEEN CENTS AMERICAN?!!  Whoever got that is one lucky person.....
I know that my Coronet Super 12 has two type bars where the type can be switched out, and I think I have somewhere a little leaflet advertisement that showed all the different sorts of type sets that could be bought with four (maybe five?) interchangeables in each.  One for medical writing, one for mathematics, and one for engineering, I think.  There might be more sets, but I'm not certain.  I'll try looking for the thing and if I find it I'll post a picture

 

19-8-2017 06:17:14  #6


Re: Math professor's typewriter

I agree to some extent with the OP, since the first two things I looked for were not there; theta and the degree symbol.  A machine dedicated to maths would indeed need a greater range of symbols to be useful, IMO.


Sincerely,
beak.
 
 

19-8-2017 13:25:09  #7


Re: Math professor's typewriter

Paradoxis wrote:

I know that my Coronet Super 12 has two type bars where the type can be switched out ...

Technically any type bar can be switched, but I think you're referring to the type slug, and specifically Smith-Corona Changeable Type.
 


"To save time is to lengthen life."
 

20-8-2017 06:31:26  #8


Re: Math professor's typewriter

sirius wrote:

Sounds legit. Does there exist a list of which special type sets manufacturers like Olympia produced? Most German typewriters have a pretty boring keyboard with only a handful of special characters which I very much regret. I don't understand for example why the umlauts äöü got their own 3 (three!) keys on the precious limited keyspace on the typewriters instead of using a dead key for the diaeresis (the two dots above the letters). This loses space for as much as 5 special characters (2*3 - 1), though if one replaced the pretty useless french dead key for grave (`) with a dead key for diaeresis, it'd be 6. Only my Olympia SG1 has an extra key next to the umlaut keys with special characters.

Once I have settled for a typewriter for permanent use, I hope I can find a diaeresis typebar for it and replace the grave/acute key with that. Then I can replace the äöü keys with some of the special keys usually found on US typewriters (like an @ sign or #, both of which would be cool).

sirius

My first reaction to the comment about the umlaut dead key was that German speakers might find it inconvenient to use two keys to type a common letter, but as you are from Germany perhaps my comment is void. :-)

There is a fascination about special characters which we can find self-amusement in at the same time we think it is neat, as we are oohing about a handful of special characters in a time where we can scroll through long lists on our word processors. And seldom use them or find what we want.  One of my favorite not so special special characters is the cents sign: every time I see it on a keyboard it reminds me that the machine was built in a time when it may have been possible to find something useful in the Five and Dime for 25₵

(let's see if the cut and paste from Word survives the complex chain of events to the final representation on Typewriter Talk)
 


"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton".
 

20-8-2017 06:48:12  #9


Re: Math professor's typewriter

Good day Mr. Hoehne. 

I am not sure why you find it necessary to attack common English colloquialisms with vitriol. For example:

OP:  Most German typewriters have a pretty boring keyboard 
You:  Please keep in mind that these typewrites were not built just for you. A "boring" keyboard? These were not made for entertainment, but rather designed with decades of experience in their markets, for use by serious people. 

OP:  I don't understand for example why the umlauts äöü got their own 3 (three!) keys
You:  
I realize that posting questions on here is part of your research; just keep in mind what you said in your post, "I don't understand...."

"Boring" and "don't understand" are common conversational English expressions.  This reminds me of the time I failed to use "piling" in a particular sense, following myself up with a self-deprecating comment to the effect "how silly of me". But not deprecating enough for you, who found it appropriate to link my post to a video implying I had made an ass of myself.  I guess the moderator is busy, but your vitriol bottle seems to be a cornudysopia.  


"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton".
 

20-8-2017 10:20:41  #10


Re: Math professor's typewriter

Repartee, thank you for taking me seriously. I don't know you, but I think I would like to. If you care to know why I responded like that, let's do it in private messages.

 

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