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Typerwriters (in the 21st century)

I love typewriters. (Regular blog readers might recall that I love handwritten letters as well.) I love typewriters so much that I actually own three of them. One of them is a manual typewriter that I have used to type many letters and papers, including my senior project at Bard College: When the Hand That Penned it Shall be Dust : women and their diaries in nineteenth-century. I mean, how could I be writing about diaries, and not use a manual typewriter? One is a typewriter I picked up at a Falmouth yard sale. The woman that was selling it told me that an author had once owned it, and typed his novel on it, and the novel was published. This sounded like good writing karma to me. The third one arrived because we had neighbors who were moving to England, and couldn’t bring their very large typewriter with them. They suggested I could start a newspaper, and use this typewriter to send them news of the street. I never started a newspaper, but I do type letters with the typewriter.

I love typewriters so much, that when there was a Kickstarter project trying to fund a documentary about typewriters, I donated some money towards the project. (You may have seen the recent story about the Carousel of Light and their Kickstarter project.) Happily, this Saturday, you too can share my love of typewriters, by attending our showing of the documentary The Typewriter (in the 21st century) at 2:00 PM. Not only will we be showing the film, but we will also have typewriters on display, some of which you will be able to try out. Do you have a typewriter? I hope you’ll bring it along so I can try some new typewriters. The library will provide the paper!

The documentary film itself pays tribute to the typewriter. It covers typewriter history, typewriter trivia, typewriter enthusiasts (including historians David McCullough and Robert Caro!), typewriter repairmen, and typewriter events. I’ve even discovered that there is an entire online blogging world where typewriter enthusiasts, who call themselves typospherians, congregate to share typewriter stories.  We’d love to see lots of typospherians at our showing of the film, but we’ll be happy to see anyone who loves a great film about a great object.

I love this description of typospherians:

“A term for bloggers who collect, use, and otherwise obsess over typewriters and other “obsolete” technologies, including, but not limited to, handwriting, pens and ink, paper mail and mail art, knitting and fibre arts, film photography, chip-less combustion engines, and related ephemera. Though typically reclusive, members of the typosphere can sometimes be found lurking around the fringes of rummage sales, swap meets, flea markets, and church fundraisers, hoping to find the one make, model, or color typewriter that will finally complete their collection and bring them true happiness and satisfaction. None have managed this feat yet.”

You can see, I’m not alone in my love of typewriters! I certainly hope some typospherians will show up on Saturday at 2:00 PM in the Hermann Foundation Meeting Room at the Falmouth Public Library, 300 Main Street.

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