Last weekend, I drove out from DC to West Virginia to attend the Spring Typewriter Jubilee at Herman’s. About 50 typewriter enthusiasts were getting together, and how could I say no to that kind of good times energy?
I stopped by antique stores on my way out to West Virginia and saw lots of adding machines but not too many typewriters.
I got to Herman’s in West Virginia, and lots of things happened. My recollections of the Typewriter Jubilee are a bit scattered: I remember typewriters and conversations about typewriters and generalized nuttiness. As often happens at these typewriter festivals, I may have been under the influence of PB B’laster fumes. I took a few pictures with my phone, so that will help as I try to piece together a coherent report of the event.
When I first got to Herman’s, I helped Kansas Typewriter (Alison D.) set up her tent for the night. It was enormous. The tent package said it could hold up to 40 Boy Scouts. Here is Alison swooning about halfway through the set-up:
Alison had arrived from Kansas with a trunk-load of cute typewriters. She had this:
It is Adobe Rose‘s twin sister, and now she is mine. I christened her “Adobe Rose East”.
I toured Herman’s fabulous collection:
This is our host, Herman. This is not Gerald Cha:
On Saturday, there was a panel discussion on typewriters:
And there were presentations:
- Mike B. on ribbons and spools – lots of great information and tips
- Evan B. on keytop removal and replacement. I wish I had those specialty tools.
- Jonathan P. on the Hammond—so many twists and turns in this story!
- Richard P. on the Hogar, a rare Spanish index typewriter
Of course people brought some gorgeous typewriters to Herman’s. Nicholas J. arrived with a carload of beautiful German typewriters. One of them was this Olympia 8. Here he is demonstrating how easy it is to remove the carriage:
I was mesmerized by the silken shine of the Olympia and got into a long discussion with Nicholas about his polishing techniques. He made me a cleaning cloth impregnated with shavings of polishing compounds.
Herman’s wife had wisely skipped town while the Typewriter Jubilee was going down, and Herman’s friend Ginger stepped in to help out in the kitchen. Ginger eyed the cloth impregnation with some suspicion, but while Nicholas worked she told me about the 15 foot python that was terrorizing Sabraton. Ginger was mollified after Nicholas cleaned her sink and faucet area and polished it to a mirror finish with his impregnated cloth.
There was also a typewriter beauty contest, and the Olympia 8 tied with this incredible Torpedo.
And there was a speed typing contest. I was horrified to see Richard P. hauling the Crushed Lettera up to the contest table, but he crushed the competition and got first place in the speed typing contest with the Crushed Lettera. Big WHEW.
I stayed through Sunday morning, and before I left, Herman gave me the requisite fly fishing tutorial. The correct positioning is “11:00 O’Clock, 1:00 O’Clock”. I now feel confident packing my cooler and heading up to Alaska for salmon.
There are more pictures of the Jubilee on the Antique Typewriter Collectors Facebook group.
Besides Adobe Rose East, what did I bring home? A bunch of typewriters that need some tender loving care, that’s what. There is a beautiful Underwood De Luxe Quiet Tab with a sliding carriage that doesn’t catch. It’s on my work bench and I am making progress – though I have no idea how technicians ever serviced these things. The escapement is hidden deep and inaccessible under the carriage.
I also got a Consul 232 with a missing ribbon cover. I think I will fashion an artsy replacement out of paper maché. Though kind of rusty and beat-up, this Consul is amazingly strong and solid for an ultra-portable. Because of its size and condition, I thought it would be sort of rattly – but no, it’s very good typing.
This Royal Safari has a broken key lever. I haven’t played with a Safari before, so that will be an education. If anyone has a parts machine Safari that I can get a key lever from, let me know.
Mr. E told me this Royal KHM has “issues”. Come on in, KHM!
And I got a good and dirty Remington portable – a type I have limited experience with. This should be a really fun project:
I have some work to do here. I’m starting with the Underwood portable and Consul 232, and that should keep me busy for a bit.