My Balls Survive the Haboob, thanks to Careful Packaging By A Fellow Typospherian!

Dune4 My Balls Survive the Haboob, thanks to Careful Packaging By A Fellow Typospherian!…Storms build up across six or seven thousand kilometers of flatlands, feed on anything that can give them a push—coriolis force, other storms, anything that has an ounce of energy in it. They can blow up to eight hundred kilometers an hour, loaded with everything loose in their way—sand, dust, everything. They can eat flesh off bones and etch bones to slivers.

-”Dune”, Frank Herbert

IMG 7349 My Balls Survive the Haboob, thanks to Careful Packaging By A Fellow Typospherian! 2014 07 21 a My Balls Survive the Haboob, thanks to Careful Packaging By A Fellow Typospherian!haboobery My Balls Survive the Haboob, thanks to Careful Packaging By A Fellow Typospherian!

A Haboob rolling into town, turning the air into sandpaper…

What it feels like if you’re outside when one of these suckers hits town:

IMG 7350 My Balls Survive the Haboob, thanks to Careful Packaging By A Fellow Typospherian!
I’ve carried this Spyderco Endura for prolly about a decade now. Handiest knife I’ve ever owned, but it’s talents are wasted on cutting open mail. :P

2014 07 21 b My Balls Survive the Haboob, thanks to Careful Packaging By A Fellow Typospherian! IMG 7351 My Balls Survive the Haboob, thanks to Careful Packaging By A Fellow Typospherian! 2014 07 21 c My Balls Survive the Haboob, thanks to Careful Packaging By A Fellow Typospherian!

IMG 7352 My Balls Survive the Haboob, thanks to Careful Packaging By A Fellow Typospherian!
On top of Ol’ Dusty, all covered in dust, He’s really quite dusty, so clean him I must… (to the tune of “On Top of Ol’ Smokey”)

The Typewriter Database: 2000+ Galleries reached, Remington Portables and a Nikon FE for $15

IMG 7346 The Typewriter Database: 2000+ Galleries reached, Remington Portables and a Nikon FE for $15 2014 07 19 1 The Typewriter Database: 2000+ Galleries reached, Remington Portables and a Nikon FE for $15 IMG 7347 The Typewriter Database: 2000+ Galleries reached, Remington Portables and a Nikon FE for $15

IMG 7348 The Typewriter Database: 2000+ Galleries reached, Remington Portables and a Nikon FE for $15
made only one thriftin’ stop this week in-between driving around chores, but that Deseret hit yielded a primo Nikon FE for $15. I’ve been on the lookout for one of these.
IMG 7339 The Typewriter Database: 2000+ Galleries reached, Remington Portables and a Nikon FE for $15
I’ve finally cracked open this stack of paperbacks I picked up a couple of months ago. I think I now have every Rex Stout that exists (this pile is about 20 books high, it just didn’t fit in the FOV.) I need the pair of Raymond Chandlers just so I can get a break from the onslaught of Archie and Nero.

Stapler of The Week: The Aceliner

IMG 7070 Stapler of The Week: The AcelinerThe Ace Aceliner, a true classic. Probably the first stapler I actually sought out after seeing them on other Typosphere blogs. It’s a popular design, easy to get ahold of, and there’s probably one in every casual stapler collector’s corral.
IMG 7310 Stapler of The Week: The AcelinerThere are at least two different variations, probably indicating a change in design and tooling to cut costs. If anyone knew when this design change occurred, you could probably better tell when a given stapler was made, at least within a decade or so.
IMG 7311 Stapler of The Week: The AcelinerI’m pretty sure the scalloped-edge version with the “Aceliner” embossing on the top is the older design, but how much older is unknown. I’ve read somewhere that the Aceliner wasn’t introduced until the 1970′s despite it’s mid-century styling. I do believe that the rounded, unembossed version is the style you can still buy brand-new from Ace.
IMG 7312 Stapler of The Week: The AcelinerThe Aceliner is a tail-loader like most other Ace staplers. You pull out the “tail” and it folds up to allow loading.
IMG 7313 Stapler of The Week: The AcelinerThe Aceliner is a remarkably ergonomic machine. It fits perfectly in the hand, and opens up all the way for tacking. In fact it’ll open up to about 20 degrees past flat.
IMG 7314 Stapler of The Week: The AcelinerA comparison of the two designs shows other visible differences between the older and newer styles: Older versions have grey rubber feet, newer versions have black plastic feet. IMG 7318 Stapler of The Week: The AcelinerThe older version includes the brand “ACE” stamped into the front, while the newer version lacks this detail.IMG 7319 Stapler of The Week: The AcelinerDifferent types of rivets are used  for the pivot bar…IMG 7320 Stapler of The Week: The AcelinerIMG 7321 Stapler of The Week: The AcelinerOtherwise, they appear to be identical. Both styles work great, and there is no functional difference between the two. Both produce either Interfold or Exterfold staples via the sliding anvil.IMG 7043 Stapler of The Week: The AcelinerIt should be said that the Aceliner, although svelte, is a heavy stapler. Solid steel, thickly forged. If I were in sudden need of a weapon and all I had to choose from were the staplers on my desk, I’d grab the Aceliner. The shaped pommels make it easy to grip, so it won’t slip out of your hand in the heat of battle, and I’d bet that the unfortunate assailant you socked with an Aceliner would be none too pleased with the sound of his skull caving in.  In fact, my older Aceliner has clearly spent part of it’s previous life as an improvised hammer, as the deep gouges on the bottom plate would attest. Someone gave it a pretty good beating, and the Aceliner shrugged it off and kept working, like a stapler should.

Collectable? maybe.
Attractive? Hells yes!
Durable: Like a Rock.
Should you get one if you see one at a thrift? Ayup! (:

Stapler of the Week: 1950′s School Green and Teal Swingline Model 27

IMG 7323 Stapler of the Week: 1950s School Green and Teal Swingline Model 27
Found at the Mesa Thrift along with an Aceliner for $1.99 each! :D
IMG 7325 Stapler of the Week: 1950s School Green and Teal Swingline Model 27
Really, one of the more attractive modern-ish Swingline designs, it was superceded in 1970 by the bread-n-butter Model 747.

IMG 7326 Stapler of the Week: 1950s School Green and Teal Swingline Model 27

IMG 7327 Stapler of the Week: 1950s School Green and Teal Swingline Model 27
opens up easily with a bottom-mounted lever for tacking.
IMG 7328 Stapler of the Week: 1950s School Green and Teal Swingline Model 27
Standard Swingline-style top loading. Easy to load and takes standard staples.
IMG 7331 Stapler of the Week: 1950s School Green and Teal Swingline Model 27
makes both Interfold and Exterfold staples.

IMG 7332 Stapler of the Week: 1950s School Green and Teal Swingline Model 27

IMG 7334 Stapler of the Week: 1950s School Green and Teal Swingline Model 27
The Model 27 Swingline Stapler was introduced in 1952 and “Improved” in 1954. I recall seeing these quite often at school growing up – not as omnipresent as the crinkle-grey boxy 1940′s Bostitches that permeated my childhood institutional memories, but still often enough that I remember them. The School Green and Teal color combo may have been a special run for school systems, but I can’t tell for sure.

Prepping for the 5th Phoenix Type-In: Part One in the Hot, Hot Heat…

2014 07 07 1 Prepping for the 5th Phoenix Type In: Part One in the Hot, Hot Heat...

Click to embiggen…

In other news, I received some research from Peter Weil on Blickensderfers and Hammonds, which resulted in some nice updates for those pages on the Typewriter Database. I’ve also completed the “Non-Noiseless Standards” section of the Remington page (whew) and am now knee-deep in the Noiseless Standards. This did not keep me from noticing that we are very nearly at 2000 typewriter galleries in the Database now. I’m starting to think that 3000 by next January 1 is a completely reasonable goal…

Stapler of The Week: 1950′s Arrow 210

This week’s Stapler is one I picked up a couple of days ago at Goodwill’s half-price day. I’d let this one sit on the shelf for a week and a half because it was busted, missing important bits and ugly as sin. When the price dropped to $1.50, though – I wanted it just to show off it’s unique features (and the Arrow 210 has some pretty unique features). I’d love to find one in nice working condition with all the parts intact.

IMG 7296 Stapler of The Week: 1950s Arrow 210
Beat to heck, top cap insert missing, the entire spring and plunger assembly from the feed system is missing as well.
IMG 7297 Stapler of The Week: 1950s Arrow 210
Thumb latch on the side allows the top to open for loading staples, although it’s designed primarily to be a tail-loader.
arrow210 4 Stapler of The Week: 1950s Arrow 210
Button on the bottom to open up the stapler for tacking on most staplers, on the Arrow 210 instead…
IMG 7308 Stapler of The Week: 1950s Arrow 210
…completely unlatches the top section from the bottom for tacking. A lot of parts can easily come off this stapler and get lost. I bet not many of them are intact.
IMG 7301 Stapler of The Week: 1950s Arrow 210
The two separate parts…
IMG 7309 Stapler of The Week: 1950s Arrow 210
Then just snap back together again…
IMG 7307 Stapler of The Week: 1950s Arrow 210
And there’s the really interesting feature: a THREE-WAY ANVIL! The Arrow 210 takes “standard” staples.
arrow210 0 Stapler of The Week: 1950s Arrow 210
Makes normal (interfold is the proper term for it) staples.
arrow210 1 Stapler of The Week: 1950s Arrow 210
Makes “splayed” (Exterfold is the proper name) staples
arrow210 2 Stapler of The Week: 1950s Arrow 210
and ALSO makes a staple where the legs are both folded to the right. This allows you to just pull up on the staple to remove it without damaging the paper. It’s a “temporary” staple that works sort of like a straight pin.

The Arrow 210 is a *BIG* stapler. It is significantly larger than even my Aceliners, and is a bit heavier as well (more solid than an Aceliner? That’s SOLID!), even when beat all to heck and lacking half it’s feed system, it still will staple. I bet a good one with all the parts intact would be a sharp-looking stapler too. I’m on the lookout for one, maybe in green, in much nicer condition.

Thrilling Typewriter Database Tales of Terror: The Quest for A Complete Serial Number List for Remington Blind Writers…

I’ll admit freely that I’ve been putting off the task of rebuilding the Typewriter Databases’ Remington serial number page for well over a year. I’ve had the bulk of Source #18 from Richard Polt since then, and it’s been reasonably clear to me that the data it contains is very likely either a direct-from-the-factory master serial number list, or was compiled firsthand from such a list by an unknown collector sometime in the 1970′s. The records are far too complete and detailed to be anything else.

However, since I didn’t have the complete Source #18 document (still don’t, but it’s coming), I really had no provenance info for the data other than cryptic insertions of references to various “Illion Factory Letters” from the 1930′s. These references lead me to believe that the #18 document is a compilation of data from various sources by a past collector, rather than a direct copy of actual Remington records.

Anyway, without that provenance, it’s been tough for me to declare #18 to be accurate enough to take on the task of transcribing a couple dozen pages of tightly packed typewritten tables of serial numbers and dates – broken down by the *month* – and basically re-creating a new Remington serial number page that will be roughly twenty times the size of the old one. It’s a lot of work, and I want it to be right the FIRST time.

As you can see by taking a look at the Remington page, I’ve started the Herculean task. It was Paul Lippman’s “American Typewriters” that provided both confirmation of the validity of Source #18 and conveniently also filled in early gaps in the data provided by #18 – the historically vital Blind Writers section.

There are three pages on Remington Blind Writers in the mess of documents collected in Source #18 – One is a table compiled reportedly from an Illon Factory Letter of September 5, 1931:
ilion 31 Thrilling Typewriter Database Tales of Terror: The Quest for A Complete Serial Number List for Remington Blind Writers...
And one compiled from an Illon Factory Letter of January 24, 1930:
ilion 30 Thrilling Typewriter Database Tales of Terror: The Quest for A Complete Serial Number List for Remington Blind Writers...
The third is a later-generation photocopy of the second, with notes on other machines added by later collectors, it can be ignored for now. These two tables between them provide a clear and mostly complete picture of the production run of Model #’s 6,7,8 and 9 and declare that no records for the #1 existed by 1930. Information on Model #’s 2,3,4 and 5 are sketchy at best.

To fill in the gaps, I printed out *all* of the information I have on Remington so I could read it on paper and mark it up with a pencil. I can’t read detailed stuff on a screen, and can’t mark up my expensive typewriter reference books, so I copy the relevant sections and staple them into easily-digestible chunks. Remington info isn’t exactly scarce, so this is what it looks like when I sat down to breathe it all in:
IMG 3834 Thrilling Typewriter Database Tales of Terror: The Quest for A Complete Serial Number List for Remington Blind Writers...
I started with the Secondary Sources, lists compiled by dealers associations such as NOMDA, OMEF, Shipman-Ward, SCM and the various “Liste der Herstellungsdaten”. Even the oldests of these sources, the 1941 Otto Hoffman List, treated Remington blind writers with only the sketchiest of detail, ignoring most early blind models completely. They were only helpful in providing very general confirmation of Source #18′s date ranges.

Adler and Beeching tell a narrative of early Remingtons without proving any detail about serial numbers, and the Hagley Museum compilation of Remington serial numbers kept at MoLG appears to just be a re-typing of the Illion Letter of 1/24/30, and was thus redundant. It was only when I started reading the Remington section of Lippman’s “American Typewriters” that the pieces fell into place.
lippman rem 1 Thrilling Typewriter Database Tales of Terror: The Quest for A Complete Serial Number List for Remington Blind Writers...
Here’s where the bells went off: One of Lippman’s sources was the very same Illion Factory letter 1/24/1930 that was used to compile the second table in Source #18. Lippman apparently didn’t have access to the 9/5/1931 letter, and so his tables lack the expanded information contained in that first #18 table, but he did have access to two other sources I lack: The September 1937 issue of Ames’ “Your Man Friday” and the unattributed “very poor Xerox copy” document. He goes on to build a very good serial number list for Model #’s 2,4,5,6,7,8 and 9 using the data from all three lists, neatly dovetailing them together (and importantly, including the data from all 3 lists).
lippman rem 2 Thrilling Typewriter Database Tales of Terror: The Quest for A Complete Serial Number List for Remington Blind Writers... lippman rem 3 Thrilling Typewriter Database Tales of Terror: The Quest for A Complete Serial Number List for Remington Blind Writers... lippman rem 4 Thrilling Typewriter Database Tales of Terror: The Quest for A Complete Serial Number List for Remington Blind Writers... lippman rem 5 Thrilling Typewriter Database Tales of Terror: The Quest for A Complete Serial Number List for Remington Blind Writers... lippman rem 6 Thrilling Typewriter Database Tales of Terror: The Quest for A Complete Serial Number List for Remington Blind Writers...
Lippman’s conclusions validate Source #18 so well that in the end I went with the Ilion 9/5/1931 tables from #18 for most of the data, supplementing it with data unique to Lippman’s tables (primarily the serial number list for the #2 and #4 – the old TW-DB numbers turned out to be December 31st numbers and somewhat off – if you dated your Remington #2 with that list, you’re probably a year off date.)

The hunt is still on for lists for the model #1 and #3 Blind Writers, although I have little hope that will bear fruit. In the meantime, I’ve started in on the Remington Frontstrike Standards (Non-noiseless) and have almost all of that section in. Note the massive amount of page space it takes, and ponder a moment an equally large section of Noiseless serial numbers, a much larger section of Portables (noiseless and non-noiseless) then a section on Rebuilds and a pretty sizable one on Electrics, and you’ll get why it’s gonna take me a few weeks to chew through this. :D

PS: I also rebuilt part of the Olivetti page, BTW, we got new data on the oldest Olivettis, a few years worth of Italian-made Graphikas and confirmation that Olivetti liked to put out their serial lists as DEC 31 numbers, and thus it’s very, very, very likely that *all* of the Olivetti numbers are DEC 31, not JAN 1. Le sigh. :P

UPDATE: Regarding the Remington Blind Writers, I went through my resources again and discovered that Source #31 ( The Business Machines and Equipment Digest, publ. 1927 by Equipment-Research Corporation, copy contributed by Mark Adams) happens to have a very detailed section in the “Serial Numbers” chapter on Remington Blind Writers. Understandably so, as it was just 1927 – and this might be the oldest verified serial number list for Remington.

30 remington 1 Thrilling Typewriter Database Tales of Terror: The Quest for A Complete Serial Number List for Remington Blind Writers... 30 remington 2 Thrilling Typewriter Database Tales of Terror: The Quest for A Complete Serial Number List for Remington Blind Writers...And guess what? Although this list only shows even numbered years, the numbers match the Source #18 “Ilion 09-05-1931″ list exactly, and the text verifies Source #18′s other assertions about the extremely weird serial numbering systems Remington tried out between 1914 and 1928 for their Frontstroke models, and also validated an assumption I made about the numbering cycle in 1926/7/8 repeating the same numbers and prefix as 1916/7/8 (and thus raises the question: “Can you actually distinguish a 1917 machine from a 1927 machine by serial number?”). Basically, point by point it validates Source #18 and by extension, Paul Lippman’s lists as well.

Oh, and one other thing: I was mystified by a reference in Source #18 that indicated “Spool-O-Wire first made” in late 1926. I had no idea what a “Spool-O-Wire” was, but I dutifully noted it in the section on the Standard #10. Well, today I found out what a “Spool-O-Wire” is (it’s a stapler that cuts staples from a spool of wire) and confirmed they were first made in the Remington Ilion plant around 1926/7:

spool o wire 1 Thrilling Typewriter Database Tales of Terror: The Quest for A Complete Serial Number List for Remington Blind Writers...So Source #18 is looking pretty good, accuracy-wise, and getting better the more I dig into it. For instance, I mention Source #18′s references to “Ilion Letters” in the above post, and mentioned two or three by date. There’s more… A lot more than I suspected at first glance. As I pour through the data, I’ve been making a special effort to note down all references to specific Remington dated or named literature. I’m about halfway through this search and have counted some 26 distinct official dated Remington documents used as references. This source really had to have been compiled by someone who had direct access to stacks of official Remington manufacturing and sales data that ranged between about 1930 to around 1973. I really wish I knew who it was that compiled this data together. They appear to have done a rather epic job of it. (:

A Typecast Blog by The Right Reverend Theodore Munk