Saturday, April 28, 2012

Typecast Writ Small: Swissa Jeunesse - 20 CPI Micro-Elite

I wrote 17 per inch in the typecast, but I was mistaken - this macro shot (excerpt from the letter Nik's parents sent us) shows closer to 20 characters per inch (counting from the first e to the c). Am I counting correctly?

Here is the typewriter itself, finally. Not much to look at externally, perhaps, but chock-full of inner beauty! David from has one of these with Bulletin typeface, and I believe Georg has also had his Swissa Jeunesse for several years now.

Note the unusual placement of the carriage return lever; here's a close-up:

The super small typeface is really quite fascinating: according to the letter we received, this Swissa was used in the Museum of Natural History at Bern to type labels for insect specimens. Fitting work, I suppose. I am not sure how common these were;  in fact, the only other typewriter I have come across with micro-elite typeface was a wide-carriage Hermes standard in Alfred Wepf's collection. It always seemed odd to me, having such a huge machine produce such tiny text!

Pity Swissa resorted to boxy plastic at the end, like the last generation Hermes 3000. Come to think of it, the shape, size, and lettering on these keys is exactly the same as the later Hermes 3000s and Baby used - coincidence?

Here is the very squared box it came in. Now I have two Swissas: one with a giant typeface, and one with a tiny typeface. A matched set!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Typecast: A farewell to thrift

An interesting find - here in Geneva, that is, but not for CHF 80.

The Facit TP-1 came with an elegant, rounded case - like a piece of vintage luggage. 
Quite a contrast to the squarish appearance of the typewriter itself.

Other than the stylized presentation of the brand name on the rear of the typewriter, there are many more fine details which I now realize I didn't notice - not having examined the machine too closely in the store. Richard's recent post is particularly illuminating...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Typecast: State of the Typewriter Union

A couple of ongoing projects - both of these were acquired to be transformed. More later!
Not many typewriters at the market this weekend, but what a haul of vintage radios!
I'll try not to bore you all with my sewing adventures - this is a typewriter blog, after all! Still, here is what I have been up to this weekend - covering our drab beige couch in Ikea fabric, taking some inspiration from a fellow blogger. For my first sewing project, I'm rather proud of how it all turned out, actually, even if it's not perfect. Next up will be a typewriter cover à la Ryan Adney, but first I must receive the typewriter that will need to be covered...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Typecast: Settling back in, and a few observations

View of Accra rooftops from window

 A novel sight - road cyclist in full spandex kit, earnestly making his way among Accra's harried drivers. I was inspired - not least by the long-sleeved shirt in the humid, 90-degree-plus weather.

Typists next to the post office - right where I remembered them being when I was a child, although the typewriters have changed since then.

Olympia Traveller de Luxe - well-used, and has probably withstood more than I would have thought possible. Perhaps I should reconsider my opinion on these...

It wasn't a fancy beach, but I just wanted to get to the waterfront and walk around a bit, so I did. Then we found this fellow, so that turned out to be fun.

So - how has everyone been? What have I missed? I am so glad 21 Questions has caught on, and I am just now catching up with all the great responses! Here is the latest round-up; do let me know if I've overlooked any:

- Writing Ball (Richard)
- Fountain Pens & Typewriters (Bill)
- Living in the Woods (Cameron)
- Just Write (Mike Speegle)
Flynn Taggart
- Nathan Guitars (great responses!)
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