Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Mechanical Typewriter Giveaway
A few years ago, as I was first learning about the steampunk aesthetic (discovering great artists like Datamancer), I briefly became obsessed with turning a mechanical typewriter into a musical instrument. (Something more melodic and standalone than the Boston Typewriter Orchestra.) My plans ranged from using digital sensors and synthesizers to rigging up some kind of pulley and chime system. Suffice it to say, my interests and skills have since wandered in another direction, and I'm trying to let go of plans that clearly aren't meant for me.
Since I'll be surrounded by steampunk fans when I'm at International Steampunk City, I thought it would be a good place and time to try to find a new, loving home for this cool piece of machinery. So during the convention, I'm giving it away for free. It'll go to the first interested person with good intentions for the typewriter who shows up at my table and asks for it. My booth will be located in the Waltham Watch Factory building, right next to the festival's opening ceremonies and many exciting performances. I'm not going to let anyone put a claim on it ahead of time--just show up!
If you're interested in it, there are a few things you should know: First, the condition it's in. It's missing its ribbons (so you can't type with it right now), it's dusty inside and out, and some of the keys stick (but no parts are missing as far as I know). I suspect that Cambridge Typewriter could clean and repair it, but I claim no knowledge of typewriter mechanics, and it's possible it won't be simple to restore to perfect working condition. Second, it's pretty heavy. A cart or dolly of some kind would be ideal, but carrying it a short distance to a car (pausing frequently to set it down and rest) would probably work too. Please don't plan to walk miles and miles carrying it in your bare hands!
PS: While I was writing this post, I discovered that Cambridge Typewriter has an active blog about the machines and goings-on in the shop. Some of the typewriters pictured are absolutely stunning, like finely-restored vintage sportscars. I could really get into typewriter collecting if I had more space in my apartment!