Tuesday, July 18, 2017

New “California Typewriter" poster

Here's the new poster for "California Typewriter."

Eye-catching, no doubt. The website also has a new look:

The film will be showing in some theaters next month (such as the Metrograph in New York) and is available now for pre-order on iTunes.

Monday, July 17, 2017

A glimpse of the Mantelli collection (6 and last)

Some final views of Flavio's wonderful collection. 

Briggs prototype, Visible Index, Picht:

Fontana Baby, Baby, unknown tiny typewriter, Dactylette, Taurus:


Unknown machine with illustration of a gnome:

And finally, not one but two Automatics:

Flavio doesn't use any of these typewriters, for pretty obvious reasons, but when I see them I can't resist imagining typing on them. If I had a Fontana Baby, I would create at least one typecast with it. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

A glimpse of the Mantelli collection (5): Blick Electric

Feast your eyes on one of the rarest and most desirable typewriters ever.

Friday, July 14, 2017

A glimpse of the Mantelli collection (4)

I forgot to post this shot of the back of the Sholes:

Two different kinds of Jackson and a Yetman:


Adler 9 (very rare and unlike all other Adlers):

Alexis, Sampo, Cantelo, Phönix:

Sampson Permagraph:


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A glimpse of the Mantelli collection (3)

Here are Flavio's beautiful examples of the first two writing machines successfully produced in series: the Malling-Hansen Writing Ball and the Sholes & Glidden Type Writer. This Sholes was sold in Vienna. 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

A glimpse of the Mantelli collection (2)

New Sholes, invented by Zalmon Sholes:

Blickensderfer no. 4 with two-row telegrapher's typewheel:

Blickensderfer Niagara #125:

Pearl, small and large Darlings, and an unrelated Darling:

More rare index typewriters:


Saturday, July 8, 2017

A glimpse of the Mantelli collection (1)

Yesterday I got to see my friend and typewriter collector extraordinaire Flavio Mantelli. With his permission, I'm sharing some photos of his mind-boggling collection, in installments. 

Here are some rare index typewriters, the Macchina Baby (Simplex look-alike from Italy) and St. Louis World's Fair Simplex:

Baby Simplex (credit card size):


Unknown non-Braille device for the blind:

Michela stenograph:

Wide-carriage Monofix:

More soon!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Write Right with carbon paper

How often do my readers use carbon paper? If you're like me, the answer is hardly ever. But this creates a problem in correspondence: will you remember what you said in your last letter? An advantage to digital correspondence is that it's usually easy to reconstruct a conversation, either by going to your Sent folder or by checking older messages that are quoted below your current one. If you're just working on paper, it's not so simple. You could always scan or photograph your letter before sending it off, and I've done so in some situations, but with personal correspondence, that feels to me like violating some sort of unspoken typospherian contract.

So when I sat down to answer some letters recently on my 1938 Continental portable, I felt the need to make a carbon copy.

I dug through my drawers and found this:

It looks like a relic of the 1930s or ’40s. The wrapper reads:

To Give Best Results
When Used Properly in a
Standard "Kant-Slip" Register


7 1/4 inch  2 ply
Dayton, Ohio
Manufacturers of

I don't even remember how or when I got this, but it's never been used. I opened it and found that the roll even has its own serial number:

Even in the absence of a "Kant-Slip" Register, the stuff works.

Now I'll know what I said in this letter, even after it's mailed off to its recipient. Ah, the wonders of modern technology!

I'll add that if you care about posterity, and posterity turns out to care about you, a carbon copy is much more durable and legible than a digital file, which can alter, degrade, or simply become unreadable with the passing of the years.

Oh, and this is a Kant-Slip (as sold on eBay a while ago).