My brain is kind of pickled by pop culture and the internet, so in my failing state, I made this. I apologize for acting like somebody’s mom who just discovered memes:
I had to do it; her look of knowing approval just kills me.
The big Typewriter Jamboree (AKA the 11th Annual Chestnut Ridge Typewriter Rendezvous hosted by Herman Price AKA Hermanpalooza) was last weekend. Before I set out for Herman’s on Friday, I packed up a couple donations for Wordplay Cincy: a real nice Olympia SM3 and a Lettera 22 with script typeface that I bought in North Platte, Nebraska. The Lettera was very sticky and had the gummy escapement problem that causes the carriage to slide willy-nilly, so I did quick clean.
I hit the road on a beautiful fall day and headed west out of DC.
Into the mountains I went:
I reached Morgantown, WV and then made my way to Herman’s where Friday arrivals were to congregate. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.
Good grief – the party was already rocking and rolling Friday afternoon. Porta-Potties at the ready.
This is a beautiful Oliver 9 rehab in fire-engine red:
In the evening I headed out into Morgantown proper which is a nice little college town with a very happening nightlife:
I saw a manhole with my favorite exasperation exclamation. It is frequently heard coming from me, bent over a typewriter:
Saturday dawned chilly and gray. The rain started.
It got muddy. Like Woodstock, but with less LSD.
Fortunately we had a huge tent for presentations and vats of hot coffee (courtesy of Mrs. Price who deserves a medal for Extreme Hostessing Skills)
Herman formally welcomed us with jokes. He is very funny – his comedic timing is pro-level.
And then came the presentations: Typewriter First Aid using the gun technique which I ate up. It was so good – I picked up a bunch of good ideas.
The Brumfield clan brought a slew of typewriters – many from the Magdalinski Collection of South Bend , IN. Brian B’s presentation on the incredible work his family did in saving many of the typewriters in the collection was riveting.
I didn’t know much about Royal electrics, but I came away with a new appreciation of them after Ian B’s presentation. Some of these pictured are extremely rare.
There was a typewriter beauty contest:
Number 88, the Pittsburgh won:
A lot of people came with business cards. I’ll have to make up some for myself.
I talked typewriters with people all day Saturday until I was hoarse. I picked up so many excellent tips on typewriter repair and cleaning. It was a novel feeling, talking typewriters with people equally passionate about the crazy things. There were so many typospherian rock stars in the flesh at the gathering – I felt a bit shy. I was thisclose to asking for pictures with them, but I chickened out.
Saturday evening, mid-sentence in a discussion about Smith Corona 5 series, I felt the abrupt onset of overwhelming exhaustion. A career introvert, the day had got the best of me and I cratered. I slunk back to the silence of my hotel room to recover and work through the conversations of the day.
I had to leave early Sunday morning, so I missed the speed typing contest. However, other attendees posted pictures of the Jamboree on the Facebook Antique Typewriter’s Collectors group page.
Resolutions for next year at Herman’s
- Plan better so that I can stay for Sunday’s events
- Talk to all the people I didn’t get a chance to pester this year
- Get pictures with people
- Bring business cards with contact information
- Encourage Herman to open his swimming pool (just kidding!)
Early Sunday I returned to the DC area – a light early snow blanketed the mountains.
I came back with three delightful junkers that were essentially freebies: two Royal 10s and a LC Smith No. 8, all with “issues”.
The L.C. Smith No. 8 is a pretty early one, serial number 278424-8. It’s a 1916 which would make it the earliest No. 8 at TWDB.
Side note: Typewriter Database Version Epsilon is looking pretty snazzy! It’s so nice to have the mobile and desktop versions united.
The L.C. Smith was rusted solid – boat anchor/doorstop condition. I blew out the crud and doused it with PB Blaster penetrant and left it to reek quietly in the garage while I unpacked.
When I came back, I gently tried to move the carriage. It moved with crusty squeaks. With patience and petroleum-based penetrants, I gently freed the stiffened parts. Using my hands and a soft touch, I delicately tried to move the rust-frozen parts that should move: typebars, ribbon vibrator, universal bar, sublevers, carriage return, back space. I got the letter “T” moving. The slug met the platen, there was a ba-dump as the escapement did its thing, and the typewriter moved a space.
Here’s the “T” and space bar working it:
Now that I am sure that the LC Smith can type, I want to clean it thoroughly. I wish I could do the kind of work that Words Are Winged does – he’s amazing. I may do a careful Evapo-rust/cleaning dunk if I can get the keys and platen off. The platen is soldered on (!) Someone lost the screw and decide to affix the sliding platen holder with a blob of solder. Oh well. Onward.
*Postscript to Anne ’88: drop me a line at the email address below so I can come pick up your typewriters.
24 thoughts on “Typewriter Jamboree at Herman’s”
Thank you for the great tour!
Wish I could have made it.
You should come some time – you’d be a fun addition to the wild typewriter party!
Thanks for a great review!
Thanks for sharing your visit to Herman’s. One year I may be able to attend. glad you had a great time and picked up some new tips as well as typewriters. I now also know what to do with one of my extra Olivers.
It is worth the pilgrimage – the conversation was so satisfying and the presentations were excellent. My only regret is that I didn’t stay for Sunday events and didn’t get a chance to talk to more people. Next year, I’ll plan better.
Thanks for the lovely tour. Once I get my rocket sled repaired, I’ll make a trip out from the Pacific NorthWest. 🙂 Meanwhile, I’ll have to live vicariously through great post like yours.
So, I have a question… What is the GUN technique?
I took the name from the title of the presentation on the schedule. I’m not sure if it’s an acronym for something, but the presenter Glenn G is an antique gun collector (Civil War era firearms). He described cleaning products and techniques that are used on antique firearms and had a sensible historian’s perspective on how to treat old metal: know the ingredients of the each product, how they interact with old metal and paint, and proceed “inch-by-inch”.
I am going to try to get his presentation notes. There was so much he covered, and I am not doing it justice.
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Someday I’ll get there and finally meet everyone. Glad to see you back at it, turning rusted hulks into typing champs once again!
Come out to Herman’s some time – it’s great fun. You could share some of your typewriter experiences – to everyone’s benefit. Your work is inspiring.
Wonderful post! I’ll get to Herman’s somehow next year. (And I’m with you on script typefaces!)
It was great fun – lots of horse trading and solid typewriter conversation.
How can I learn more about next year’s gathering–exact dates and so on?
On the Facebook Antique Typewriter Collectors page, there is a link to “events” on the left hand side of the page and all the details are posted once they are available. Hopefully Herman will open his heart and home again next fall for the rampaging hordes.
There is a speculative spring gathering that *might* happen in May at Chestnut Ridge.
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Ooh, somehow I knew you’d take good-working machines and come back with basket cases to play with. 😀
You totally shoulda got fan selfies with the stars – fear is the mind-killer, and all that. (:
You should come out to Herman’s at some point and do a presentation – maybe about Typewriter Database (which, I might add, is looking great).
Next year I am getting autographs and fan selfies for sure. And I am bringing business cards.
It was wonderful to meet you! And thanks so much for the WordPlay donations.
So thrilling to meet a superstar of the typewriter world in person. Next time I am getting a fan selfie with Richard Polt ala Kansas Typewriters.
I dunno — you very much are in the same league as your heroes there, I think! And indeed, I am not surprised that you came away with some “misfit toys” that just need your kind ministrations. Some year I’ll have to get to this gathering!
Thanks for this overview. I think I’d have been on sensory overload, myself.
Oh, go on with you!
It was a thoroughly enjoyable weekend, but I’m still recovering and processing conversations and presentations.
It was so amazing to meet you. We got introvert overload as well. I hope to make it next year (maybe to the June gathering!) and I hope we can actually hang out!
I think I’m going to the June gathering in WV – it would be be great to see you again.
“My brain is kind of pickled by pop culture and the internet, so in my failing state, I made this. I apologize for acting like somebody’s mom who just discovered memes:”
I wouldn’t worry. I’ve only just worked out the reference. Sigh… At least I did it for myself rather than being told by a pitying teenager.
I sometimes feel that visiting the internet is like a daily crossword. I try to unravel meaning in strange posts and hope that it’s good exercise for my brain.