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.