• Before Braille Was King, It Had to Win the War of the Dots For all the moments of contrived spontaneity at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards last month, one presentation stood out for its actual authenticity. It came just before Stevie Wonder and the members of the a cappella quintet Pentatonix revealed the winner of the Song of the Year. In a stroke of programming genius, Wonder was given the task of opening the award envelope and pulling out the card with t…
  • Dear Tom Hanks: Have We Got a Typewriter for You! Honestly, we're pretty jealous comedian Chris Hardwick managed to woo Tom Hanks into an interview for his Nerdist podcast using a vintage typewriter—mostly because we didn't think of it first. Hardwick, a minor celebrity in his own right, learned from his talent booker, who knows Hanks' assistant, that the actor collects typewriters. So Hardwick purchased a 1934 Smith Corona, and typed a letter t…
  • Beautiful Machine: 1881 Hammond Typewriter James Hammond, one of the great typewriter pioneers, began work on this remarkable machine in the late 1870s. It was patented in 1880 and first manufactured in 1881. The Hammond typewriter has a truly brilliant mechanical design, and it looks great, too. It was made with the best quality materials, including mahogany (above-left), oak (above-right), or cherry for the case, plus solid ebony keys…
  • Why Hadn't I Heard About Typewriter Tins? This morning, our pals at BoingBoing alerted us to the beauty of typewriter ribbon tins, which were highlighted by a site devoted to packaging design called The Dieline. Up to now, I thought only antique typewriters such as Martin Howard's gorgeous 1886 Crandall could be considered works of art, but after browsing the source of the BoingBoing post, a set of 36 images at uppercaseyyc's Typew…
  • Beautiful Machine: 1886 Crandall Typewriter Lucien S. Crandall, the man behind the Crandall - New Model, was born in Broome County, New York, in 1844. He would become one of the great early typewriter pioneers of the 1860s and 1870s. Crandall patented perhaps 10 typewriters, about six of which were manufactured. All of his designs were very intriguing and brilliantly imagined. The Crandall (1886) was his third typewriter to be manufactur…
  • Typewriter Collector Richard Polt on More Than a Century of QWERTY I started to get interested in typewriters around age 12. My dad and I stopped at a garage sale and he bought me this typewriter from the 1930s, and I was just learning to type at the time. It’s a Remington Noiseless Portable, and it has very lovely Art Deco lines. I used it for about 10 years for most of my writing work and picked up a couple of similar machines along the way. I loved that machin…
  • Early Typewriters of the Late 1800s Collecting antique typewriters circa 1900 has been a wonderful experience for me over the years. My collection is really just the tip of the iceberg, as literally hundreds of distinct collectible typewriters were manufactured. There are so many more interesting models that my search will never end. For a collector, though, this is tantalizingly good news! I also love to restore these typewriter…