Type-Writers

Creating a machine that bridges the gap between handwriting and the printed word seems an inevitable invention. Voilá…the Typewriter.  Simple in concept, yet a mechanical wonder. The user depresses a key and it causes a typebar to make an impression in ink of the selected character on your paper. Just like a small letter-press.  It’s mechanical beauty is in the details. Keys that don’t strike simultaneously and jam, the ability to shift from uppercase to lowercase letters on the fly, an advancing ribbon of ink to ensure a crisp black impression. It really is a marvelous invention. It’s also (like most great inventions) an idea that went through countless incarnations and improvements until it reached the version we think of today, the classic Underwood that Hemingway  used or the 1960’s IBM selectric.   Typewriters are perfect components for steampunk mad scientists. Typewriters revel in their mechanical function.  Early tinkers  looking to improve the typwriters performance thought so too ergo the problem in discerning between a contemporary steampunk mod (modified) and the real deal. Care to take a quiz? Below are some images of typewriters and typwriter related machines, guess which is a historial fact and which is a mod. The answers appear at the bottom of the post.

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1. U.S. Army c.WWII Teletype (http://branfordhouseantiques.com)

2. Steampunk mod

3. Ford typewriter circa 1895

4. Linotype Machine .  A typesetting machine that allows the operator to casr molten lead into lines of type. Prior to the ’70s the standard in the newspaper industry.

5. Wozniaks Conundrum, Steampunk mod by Steve La Riccia. A combination of a Mac and an 1898 Remington.

6. Hansen Writing Ball, c. 187a by Rasmus Malling-Hansen

Some images from http://pinterest.com/jackhorner/anachrotech-computing/

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