Thursday, August 16, 2007

Back Space Ideas

In an effort to see what Back Space visitors might like to see on this site, I’ve asked Steve Brannon for his views. Steve, who lives in Richmond, Virginia, is a friend I’ve met through the Internet typewriter groups on Yahoo — Typewriter Forum and Portable Typewriter Forum.

The forums are stories in and of themselves. Their members are an amazing, dedicated assemblage of typewriter fanatics. And their numbers are constantly growing. Members span the globe and the generations.

Here are some of Steve's suggestions with my comments:
  • Various essays on typewriters. I have gathered a few as I’ve run across them.
  • A profile of Matt McCormack and his dad, Dennis, of ACE typewriter right here in Portland, Oregon. Actually I have a chapter about Matt and Dennis for a typewriter book I am slowly hammering out. I’ll share the chapter here soon. Matt recently appeared on a PBS “History Detectives” segment that tried to verify that a Corona #3 belonged to legendary World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle. The result of the investigation was inconclusive.
  • Interviews with contemporary writers using typewriters. Famously Paul Auster and Larry McMurtry.
  • Interviews with collectors. (What's with this obsession?)
  • Interviews with veteran collectors and experts like Will Davis and Richard Polt.
  • An interview with Jay Williams, a collector who is blind. He knows and cherishes his typewriters, in large measure, because of their touch.
  • An interview with a key cutter, one of the folks who destroy typewriters for keys used to make jewelry. Many of us see the cutters as being like poachers who kill Elephants for their tusks. So what's their side of the story?
  • An inventory of my 65 typewriters along with photos. Actually, I plan to illustrate each post with a typewriter photo, although I won’t get into the details of the particular machine I’ve shown, at least not yet. (I passed the above "surplus" Olympia SG1 on to Steve last year.)
Steve’s list is a great start. I hope others will add their ideas and comments.


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Anonymous said...

Good post.

Anonymous said...

That's a solid list. I'm really interested in hearing from the key cutters.

I'm sure as these ideas are produced they'll inspire you and readers into new directions. That's quite a list to start from. Good work.

selina said...

I recently bought my first typewriter (a 1920's black Corona with 4 rows). It was a sentimental purchase.

I was looking at more typewriters on Craigslist (eep, the bug has bitten) and found your site by googling for more information.

It would be wonderful to read stories about why people love their typewriters so much. Why do you love yours. How did you start collecting?

And, I also vote for a post about each of your 65 typewriters, how you got them, and who famously used them.

Thanks for your blog. I read every post from start to finish!