A Mission for Australian Operatives of The Typewriter Insurgency

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

In the Museum Victoria Library there is a book by the Office Machines and Equipment Federation called “Typewriter Age Guide“, published in London in December of 1973. The OCLC number is 741742118.

The information contained in this document is potentially invaluable to the Insurgency. You are instructed to travel to the museum, obtain access to this document and evaluate the value of the data contained therein. You are then instructed to evaluate your chances of obtaining some sort of copy for the Insurgency. Museum policy regarding copying is unknown, but even readable cell phone photos will be acceptable. Care must be taken not to upset the guardians of this document, so liquidation of personnel and use of explosives in this mission is not recommended.

Return information obtained to the Insurgency via Operative Munk, who is your contact for this assignment.

This message will self-destruct in five… four… three…

Updated: January 8, 2013 — 11:09 am


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  1. Haha, well done – this is a mission not to be refused. Where typosphere meets the physical world – still a necessary support for our virtual activities.

  2. Well! I’m heading down there – hopefully in a month or so. Teeritz lives in Melbourne, so I guess if he has the time before I get down there he might be your best bet. Otherwise, I’ll see if I can get someone to get their hands on it.

  3. AH! Dammit! This book is a Museum document, and quite likely not available to the public. I’ll email them, and see if I can negotiate access. This might take a bit of serious work.

  4. Right, if only Darwin wasn’t so far from EVERYTHING ELSE :(
    Scott, I’ll be back here with some clappers with a gambatte song of some sort. Heh.

  5. Teeritz is a double-O-something, isn’t he?

  6. My wife knows a lady who works at the Museum and I just ‘might’ be able to get a look at this book. Regarding making any copies or taking photos, as much as I love the Cold-War-spy-with-a-Minox-B aspect of this endeavour, I’m told that this book may be an in-house item that the Museum uses to date their own typewriters (that are gifted to them by the good citizens of my fair city) and therefore, copying it in any manner may be strictly verboten. To say nothing of the world of hurt that I’d be in if I got busted, considering that I’m currently enrolled in Library & Information Services.
    I’ll see what I can find out about getting a look-see at this book. Time-wise, things are hectic while my kids are on school holidays, so it may be a few weeks before I find out anything. As soon as I do, I’ll report back. And I’ll be sure to wear my shirt with the cyanide capsule in the collar.
    In case of capture.

    1. We await word of the success of your mission. Perhaps if you let it be known that the data will be used to update the online typewriter serial number list, which the Museum could use to date a wider number of machines than would be covered in their book might help. I’m sure a list compiled in 1973 probably omits machines older than the 1930’s (the lists I’ve seen tend to have been compiled for *dealers* who would ignore very old machines as unsellable, rather than *collectors*, so they generally only cover a 30-year period most recent to publication)

    2. The Home Office advises care be taken in this mission, and slightly downgrades the urgentness of the mission. It has come to our attention that a second copy of this 1973 edition does exist in private hands, and steps will be taken to contact this person to inquire about the possibility of obtaining a copy for our research. The Home Office also indicates that the existence of a 1980 edition of this publication does exist (was sold on Spanish Ebay some months ago), and advises all Typewriter Insurgency Operatives to be on the lookout for this later edition.

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