To Type, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth...

A man of the cloth and the steel he wields

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  1. I remember those pegs. Such a pain. They were not a pain for those who did not loose them.

  2. I like what you’ve done with the Aristocrat, Ted. It’s now a go-anywhere machine.
    Off-topic; I just e-mailed the Museum to arrange having a look at the Typewriter Age Guide booklet that they have. It could take them up to six weeks to get back to me.
    E-Mail me to discuss further. Sorry to hijack this post, but I couldn’t find your contact details anywhere.

    Over & out.

  3. Seeing those pegs, I’m wondering if a similar thing could be done to a portable typewriter. What I’m thinking of is a different solution. I’m thinking of the kind of “feet” you might find under an appliance, like a stove, clothes washer, or refrigerator. They are basically a screw with a very large head on it. Turn it in one direction, and it screws (retracts) into the machine. Turn it the opposite way, and the “foot” extends out of the machine. By adjusting each foot, you can control whether the machine sits on its feet or the wheels (assuming there are wheels), and make sure the appliance is level. I’m wondering if something like this could be done with a portable typewriter?

    1. Kind of like the levelers on large appliances like stoves and refrigerators? I imagine that would work if you could find the appropriate hardware that would mount in your chosen typewriter. You’d just have to ensure that the retracted legs didn’t interfere with the mechanics inside the machine – most of them are pretty packed near the rear where your mounts would have to go.

      1. Yes, that’s exactly the case, on both counts. First, that is exactly what I was talking about, the “…levelers on large appliances…” and secondly, the issue you brought up about having the space to do this so as to not interfere with the mechanics of the machine.

  4. I am coming a little late to the Empire tripod, but I like what I see. Very cool. Keep up the great work!

  5. I am embarrassed to say I had not seen your blog before. I have enjoyed reading many blogs but for whatever reason yours did not pop up. My loss, your info and projects are awesome.

    Here is something I have been trying to solve. When did we see the first use of nibs on the f/j keys? I have speculated that IBM may have introduced it on the seminole Selectric. Then I saw your TRS-80 and it is clear it did not use this clever enabler of better touch typing. Was the IBM-PC the first? I have yet to find a typewriter that has f/j nibs.

    1. Well, I have ’63 and ’70 Selectrics and a much later Selectric III, and none of them have the F/J raised nibs. I just checked two of my old Tandy computers and neither of them has them either.

      A little Google-fu reveals that this improvement was patented in 2003 specifically for computer keyboards by June E. Botich of Naples, FL., and so probably didn’t appear on the original IBM PC either. It’s unlikely that any typewriters have this feature except possibly late-model IBM Wheelwriters and other plastic wedge daisywheel typewriters like Brothers and Swintecs, but I haven’t any of these handy to check.

  6. Looks like I need to learn more about google-fu. I considered myself good with the google search tool but clearly I have not even started the journey. Patent office. I had never thought of that. Keep up the great work. My Mom’s new to her Smith-Corona Silent 4S178564 sure does not have them and I kinda miss them. Cool to have a second generation typing tool! A thesis for her Masters degree was typed on it but sadly we cannot locate the document. Now that would be cool!

    I think I will patent a clear adhesive “nib” or “textured” product for all pre 2003 keyboards. Or at least experiment. I am amazed at how many people in the CBS and TheTyperwritermovie trailer are not touch typing.

    1. Heh, including me. I never did learn to touch-type despite my keyboard-intensive career and hobby choices, but I can still type faster than I can think :D

  7. Ya know, for a moment I was happy to have finally found the answer. When I shared it with my 20 year old daughter while walking through a typewriter store looking at Selectrics, I shared the date with her and she said “no way”….

    I thought about it and recalled my first keyboard that I KNOW had them. It was a OmniKey/ULTRA that just happened to come with my Northgate 386SX computer in 1990. I think IBM keyboards had them before that. Like a dummy I sold the keyboard on eBay thinking I could not convert it to USB. Oh well.

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