Adopt A Typosaurian Today!

2013-04-23-1 2013-04-23-2

Note: The discussion between the two camps is just getting started, I’ll keep you up to date on what shakes out of the talks. (:

For Adwoa, sighted a 1940's black lacquer Singer with gold detailing. Very pretty machine.

For Adwoa, sighted a 1940’s black lacquer Singer with gold detailing. Very pretty machine.

For the guys in the audience, one Olds Eight with weird purplish-green iridescent paint job.

For the guys in the audience, one Olds Eight with weird purplish-green iridescent paint job.

Spent some of the weekend out typecasting in the woods of Overgaard. Nice weather, very peaceful. I envy you fellas that live out in the woods all the time. :D

Spent some of the weekend out typecasting in the woods of Overgaard. Nice weather, very peaceful. I envy you fellas that live out in the woods all the time. :D

Updated: April 23, 2013 — 5:22 pm


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  1. No sooner had I sent of my ‘answer’ to Mr Adney than the exact same thoughts struck me about Jos Legrand’s message. All the answers from various folks sort of combined to answer the question “Whither the Typosphere?” a lot better than when I actually tried.

  2. Nice location.

    I don’t know if there’s been any further discussion on the Typosphere – Typosaurian discussion, after my last contribution. If it is, I’m no longer included! But it did throw up some interesting ideas.

    1. The discussion is pending slowly. I’m sure that Jos is compiling our responses and will be discussing them with his group to figure out the next step. The ox is slow, but the earth is patient…

  3. I like this idea! This same issue was raised by Jaap, also a Typosaurian in the last Dutch typewriter collectors news letter. “How to make the distance between young collectors and well, typosaurian’s smaller to let them share knowledge?”. I will address them and let them know I will happily “adopt” one of them (how silly as that sounds).

    1. Yes, it’s the communication issue that seems to be the thing that separates us – not even so much the differences in what we collect and why we like the machines we do. The pre-war/post-war issue is really little more than a matter of taste and our motivations for wanting particular machines. A Typosaurian is strongly motivated by rarity and uniqueness of design, while the Typospherian is more motivated by the useability, but that difference is just a natural evolution of typewriter collecting becoming something that a casual hobbyist can pursue. In the end, many Typospherians will *become* Typosaurians as their hobby becomes more serious and their collections and knowledge begin to compare with the collectors who’ve been doing it since the 70’s and 80’s, and the two groups will merge to become an activity with a wider range of appeal.

      Heh, and then will come the next wave of collectors who like the machines that we think little of, and have some talent that seems like telepathy that we little understand, and it all starts over again. :D

      1. As a newbie, I can tell you I would happily buy typewriters like the Yost or The Chicago but can’t afford them right now (and thus keep on losing the bidding wars). ;-)

        1. Then you are a likely candidate for being a hybrid collector in time, I suspect, with a foot in both camps. A good place to be. (:

          If it tells you anything about my thinking, I had a chance at a near-mint condition Chicago with its original carry case that was advertised in my local Craigslist as a “Montgomery Ward Typewriter” for $50. All it was missing was it’s ribbon spools and ribbon, but that was enough to take it out of my consideration simply because I would be facing a difficult search to find the odd-size spools and the non-standard ribbon. If I couldn’t type on it, it just wasn’t even going to be on my radar. Heck, I even know someone who has a Dalton (only 6 known to exist in collections) which I could probably add to my collection for a nominal price, but it’s in terrible typing shape, so no interest at all.

          That’s an attitude uncharacteristic of a true Typosaurian, I think, but it’s just a simple fact that I only want to own machines that are in top typing shape. I am *interested* in learning about the older machines, just on a purely scholarly level, but to own them? no thanks, I’ll stick with my functional typers. (:

          1. OMG, you could have gotten a nice Chicago for $50?

            You have to pounce on something like that, whether or not you plan to keep it. It’s only fair for you to resell it, turn a nice profit, and buy some typewriters you prefer (or a few gallons of single malt, or whatever).

          2. Well, to be fair, at the time I didn’t know that Chicagos weren’t all that common. I forwarded it to a couple other local people I thought might be interested, but I don’t think anybody jumped on it. I should probably announce stuff like that more widely maybe. (:

  4. 50 dollars isn’t a lot. This Chicago is sold for 330 now. I find it kinda ridiculous, but that’s just my opinion.

    A hybrid collector. This sounds good! Probably the right name for it too. I like my typewriters to work, be functional, but they should also be mechanically or historically interesting.

  5. I see my collection pretty much under the same light. I like typing for a variety of reasons, among them that I like the lack of other built-in distractors like the ones you have while you type on an Internet-connected laptop. But having been trained as a technologist and worked in the computer science area for many years, I am also interested in the machines that served as precursors of today┬┤s computers. For that reason, for example, I really admire the ingenuity and practicality of the IBM Selectrics; I also like using “electronic wedges” ranging from the IBM Wheelwriters to the current Brothers; and I always have a typewriter of any kind on my desk, next to the “tool of my trade” – my computer.

    I bet no self-respecting typosaurian would ever consider the more modern, electric (or electronic) machines for his collection, and would despise the latest, plastic-bodied models that many of us cherish; and, like the Reverend said, that’s one of the differences between the two groups.

    Perhaps there are more than one group of typospherians? Perhaps we could also be taxonomically classified in two subspecies? The majority would fall in the “antiquemachinecollectors sp”, but some of us might be “eclectotypospherian sp”? I know I am.

    1. Well, the thing about the Typosphere is that the members have a hugely diverse level of interest in various things, but all have at least some interest in owning and using and learning about typewriters, which is the interest that Typosaurians have in spades. This key interest is the hook that draws in the new people and the glue that holds the community together. Whether you’re *mainly* interested in the history of typewriters or the mechanical wonder of repairing them, or the fiction, prose or poetry you write with them matters little. The typewriter is the mechanical and romantic artifact that brought us all together, and that’s something we share with the Typosaurian.

  6. I think I might be a late-era “Typosaurian.” I am old enough that I learned typing on manual machines in school, and did my school work on a manual machine. I started writing in the typewriter collectors’ magazine ETCetera twelve years ago, when the only regular publications of any sort whatsoever in the hobby (in English) were the two printed ones (ETCetera and TYPEX.) I quit writing for it regularly several years ago, but still contribute occasionally (we, that is my brother and I, had a piece in Issue 100 just at the end of last year.)

    However, I’ve had an internet typewriter presence since 2000 and launched the Portable Typewriter Forum for modern-thinking portable-friendly collectors and authors in 2002. We’ve had a continuing web typewriter presence since then, with many more projects large and small that took contributions from many of my friends and put them on the net for free (instead of into books for pay.) The blog continues to get hits to this day.. and we’re preparing new material for it as we speak.

    I think these two personal timelines of mine make me a late-era Typosaur. Definitely Cretaceous Period.

    I would have to say that I’m highly pleased with the way that this new-fangled “Typosphere” has evolved. One could not have imagined any large group of persons interested in modern portables at all when I started collecting typewriters in 1999. But then, a few years after, the Portable Typewriter Forum showed that it was possible. The growth of that forum in many ways did not meet my initial expectations… which isn’t a bad thing! I kind of expected it to operate like the older, “Typosaurian” collectors’ world and it didn’t at all. It evolved into something wonderful, and somewhat alive – with authors, artists, very particular collectors, researchers and everyone else you can imagine in a large relatively happy lump.

    There were any number of attempts during that time period to build one, central, end-all be-all “Typewriter Wiki” that I opposed to every end. I saw that as not in line with human behavior — central to which is individuality! The TYPOSPHERE has now appeared and blossomed, fulfilling perhaps the first spark of that “Wiki” conception far better than any single-site source could ever do. Seeing how the PTF evolved as compared to how I’d originally envisioned it the day I started it, the development of the Typosphere is exactly as one might expect from individual stand-alone documentation type sites that do not regularly publish / update and separate discussion forums.

    I enjoy looking in now and again at the spread of the world of typewriter enthusiasts, and I’m glad I found this blog. I also see that someone has started a new Typewriter Database — it appears that Dirk can’t be contacted?? (He built TW-DB.COM.) I looked at it and it’s fairly remarkable, this new site. You WILL need to get in league with Typosaurians for certain on the serial number database though… There are lots of holes and such that can be filled in there, even if we don’t have dates to correlate serial numbers. We do have “ranges” for products (a great example is the Barr, as seen on my old-time website) that can certainly help guide collectors and researchers to ranges and trends of development even if not to hard date cutoffs.

    Well done on this site. Please feel free to use the commentary above as you see fit to further your cause, if it’ll be of any help.

    Yours, Will Davis

    1. OMGOMGOMG!!! Will Davis commented on my blog! :D *faints*…

      …recovers some time after…

      Whew! Thank you so much for your reply, and yes, I am actively seeking the assistance of Typosaurians in updating the data originally compiled by Dirk Schumann in In addition to this goal, the project also envisions a collection database with photo galleries of individual machines owned by collectors all over the world, linked to the manufacturer serial number records.

      Other features that are crowdsourced to the Typewriter Hunter level member include the ability to add outgoing links all throughout the site to other resources on the web pertaining to a particular manufacturer or machine. This is intended to include Typospherian blogs and the older resources such as your sites, MoLG, ETCetera Magazines PDFs, etc. Essentially a bionic version of Dirk Schumann’s defunct links page at, it’s intended to set up a way to centralize references to these resources categorized to manufacturers and specific machines, as well as links out to specific collectors’ other sites.

      I’d like to think that by bringing all of these resources together so that they can be found easily, the project is actually *encouraging* individuality by promoting these disparate resources. (:

      Anyway, thanks again for commenting. I may screw up the courage to email you sometime soon with specific questions about serial number sources you may have access to. I’m still searching for reference copies of a few remaining reference sources that Dirk originally used.

      1. I will try a couple of ways to get hold of Dirk. I have connections ;)

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