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Friday, March 25, 2011

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Richard Milton

To explore the lost world of the portable typewriter, click any of the 630-plus typewriter images shown on this site.

typewriterThe Beginning . . .      
This is the prototype of the first commercially successful portable typewriter, invented in 1904.  It was thought to be lost for 100 years but was recently found again through engineering detective work.  To read the story of its rediscovery.         Click here »»»
                             . . . And the End   
. The era of the mechanical portable typewriter came to an end in 1957 when Smith-Corona launched the world's first electric portable machine.  To read about this revolutionary typewriter and its impact.  Click here »»»
In the decades between these two machines was a brief, glorious and crazy age in which some of the world's biggest corporations tried to persuade us to buy into their way of printing letters on the page.

Typosphere Tribe

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Art of the Typosphere

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace

Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I
come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask
you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have
no sovereignty where we gather.

We have no elected government, nor are we likely to have one, so I address
you with no greater authority than that with which liberty itself always
speaks. I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally
independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us. You have no moral
right to rule us nor do you possess any methods of enforcement we have true
reason to fear.

Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. You
have neither solicited nor received ours. We did not invite you. You do not
know us, nor do  you know our world. Cyberspace does not lie within your
borders. Do not think that you can build it, as though it were a public
construction project. You cannot. It is an act of nature and it grows
itself through our collective actions.

You have not engaged in our great and gathering conversation, nor did you
create the wealth of our marketplaces. You do not know our culture, our
ethics, or the unwritten codes that already provide our society more order
than could be obtained by any of your impositions.

You claim there are problems among us that you need to solve. You use this
claim as an excuse to invade our precincts. Many of these problems don't
exist. Where there are real conflicts, where there are wrongs, we will
identify them and address them by our means. We are forming our own Social
Contract . This governance will arise according to the conditions of our
world, not yours. Our world is different.

Cyberspace consists of transactions, relationships, and thought itself,
arrayed like a standing wave in the web of our communications.  Ours is a
world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live.

We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice
accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth.

We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her
beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence
or conformity.

Your legal concepts of property, expression, identity, movement, and
context do not apply to us. They are based on matter, There is no matter

Our identities have no bodies, so, unlike you, we cannot obtain order by
physical coercion. We believe that from ethics, enlightened self-interest,
and the commonweal, our governance will emerge . Our identities may be
distributed across many of your jurisdictions. The only law that all our
constituent cultures would generally recognize is the Golden Rule. We hope
we will be able to build our particular solutions on that basis.  But we
cannot accept the solutions you are attempting to impose.

In the United States, you have today created a law, the Telecommunications
Reform Act, which repudiates your own Constitution and insults the dreams
of Jefferson, Washington, Mill, Madison, DeToqueville, and Brandeis. These
dreams must now be born anew in us.

You are terrified of your own children, since they are natives in a world
where you will always be immigrants. Because you fear them, you entrust
your bureaucracies with the parental responsibilities you are too cowardly
to confront yourselves. In our world, all the sentiments and expressions of
humanity, from the debasing to the angelic, are parts of a seamless whole,
the global conversation of bits. We cannot separate the air that chokes
from the air upon which wings beat.

In China, Germany, France, Russia, Singapore, Italy and the United States,
you are trying to ward off the virus of liberty by erecting guard posts at
the frontiers of Cyberspace. These may keep out the contagion for a small
time, but they will not work in a world that will soon be blanketed in
bit-bearing media.

Your increasingly obsolete information industries would perpetuate
themselves by proposing laws, in America and elsewhere, that claim to own
speech itself throughout the world. These laws would declare ideas to be
another industrial product, no more noble than pig iron. In our world,
whatever the human mind may create can be reproduced and distributed
infinitely at no cost. The global conveyance of thought no longer requires
your factories to accomplish.

These increasingly hostile and colonial measures place us in the same
position as those previous lovers of freedom and self-determination who had
to reject the authorities of distant, uninformed powers. We must declare
our virtual selves immune to your sovereignty, even as we continue to
consent to your rule over our bodies. We will spread ourselves across the
Planet so that no one can arrest our thoughts.

We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be more
humane and fair than the world your governments have made before.

John Perry Barlow
Davos, Switzerland
February 8, 1996

    •    A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace (Feb. 1996)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Royal in the wild

This is going to be a project!

Got wallpaper?

  • Simply Peel and Stick!
  • All images are professional quality, high resolution images or illustrations.
  • Printed on premium, self-adhesive, re-positionable fabric paper.
  • Sticks to virtually any surface - including ceilings, bricks and concrete.
  • Can be removed and applied 100 times or more.

Cambridge Typewriter


Welcome To Cambridge Typewriter
People across the country and around the world have not lost their love for the classic typewriter in this computer age. These wonderful machines are still finding their ways into the homes and offices of collectors, traditionalists and technophobes alike.
Whatever your typewrite needs may be, in the Boston area and beyond, Cambridge Typewriter is here to help. From sales to repairs and new to old, we are have the experience and passion needed to serve you best. Stop by the shop or contact us today!
Watch a video featuring Tom and Cambridge Typewriter recently produced by Emerson students Meaghan Keane and Brent Baughman.
Read the new Life in a Typewriter Shop blog!

I wish I lived close enough to walk through the door.

Remington Rand Inc.

Beautifully engraved certificate from the Remington Rand Inc. issued no later than 1951. This historic document was printed by the American Banknote Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of a bare breasted woman leaning on a globe with manufacturing operations in the background. (Nudity on the older stocks certificates were supposed to be a sign of purity) This item has the printed signatures of the Company’s President, James Rand Jr. and its Treasurer, F. W. Parker. The certificate is over 54 years old.

The Remington Rand Corporation was formed in 1927 by the merger of the Remington Typewriter Company and the Rand Kardex Company. The Remington Typewriter Company's immediate predecessor was E. Remington and Sons of Ilion, New York which began manufacturing sewing machines in 1873. In 1876, E. Remington and Sons purchased patents for a typewriter invented by Christopher Latham Sholes.

Improvements made to Sholes' typewriter design were based on sewing machine construction. The Remington typewriter Model 1 printed in only capital letters, sat on a table like a sewing machine, used a foot treadle for a carriage return and was painted black with floral decorations just like a sewing machine. Slow typewriter sales were boosted by its display at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, but it was the work of Wyckoff, Seamans & Benedict which would lead Remington to be the world's largest typewriter manufacturer. In 1882, this newly formed firm acquired world-wide sales rights of the Remington typewriter. It began an aggressive marketing campaign which included opening several international offices. In 1886, Wyckoff, Seamans & Benedict purchased the typewriter business from E. Remington and Sons. The name was changed to Remington Typewriter Company in 1905.

In the same year that Wyckoff, Seamans & Benedict took over the sales of Remington typewriters, the New York YWCA began offering typing classes to young women. Many thought the classes were a mistake, but the program's first graduates were quickly hired at business offices. Business schools and typing classes sprung up all over the world and female “typewriters” (as the typewriter operators were then known) began to fill business offices, thus opening a new world of economic opportunities to women.

The Rand Kardex Company, Remington Rand's other antecedent, was created from James H. Rand Sr.'s Rand Company and James H. Rand Jr.'s American Kardex Company. Both companies manufactured record-control and storage equipment. Before the 1927 merger with the Remington Typewriter Company, Rand Kardex acquired the Index-Visible Company, the Baker-Vawter Company, the Kalamazoo Loose-Leaf Binder Company and the Safe-Cabinet Company, making it one the country's most important manufacturers of record-control systems.

The UNIVAC I (UNIVersal Automatic Computer I) was the first commercial computer made in the United States. It was designed by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly, the men behind the first American electronic computer, the ENIAC. During the years before successor models of the UNIVAC I appeared, the machine was simply known as "the UNIVAC".

The first UNIVAC was delivered to the United States Census Bureau on March 31, 1951 and was dedicated on June 14th that year. The fifth (built for the Atomic Energy Commission) was used by CBS to predict the 1952 presidential election. With a sample of just 1% of the voting population it predicted that Eisenhower would win; something nobody would believe, but UNIVAC was right!

The UNIVAC I computers were built by Remington Rand's UNIVAC-division (successor of the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation (EMCC), bought by Rand in 1950).

The Advertising and Sales Promotion Department of Remington Rand provided support to the extensive sales force in each of the Company's product divisions. The Department utilized print advertising, direct mail, contests and “salesmen helps” to sell Remington Rand products. By the 1940s, target marketing of specific industries became an important part of the department's approach.

As well as being the first American commercial computer, the UNIVAC I was the first computer designed at the outset for business and administrative use (i.e. for the fast execution of large numbers of relatively simple arithmetic and data transport operations, as opposed to the complex numerical calculations required by scientific computers). As such the UNIVAC competed directly against punch-card machines (mainly made by IBM), but oddly enough the UNIVAC originally had no means of either reading or punching cards (which initially hindered sales to some companies with large quantities of data on cards, due to potential manual conversion costs). This was corrected by adding offline card processing equipment, the UNIVAC Card to Tape converter and the UNIVAC Tape to Card converter, to transfer data between cards and UNIVAC magnetic tapes.

The first contracts were with government institutions such as the Census Bureau, the US Air Force, and the Army Map Service. Contracts were also signed by the ACNielsen Company, and the Prudential Insurance Company.

Following the sale of Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation to Remington Rand, due to the cost overruns on the project, Remington Rand convinced Nielsen and Prudential to cancel their contracts. Following the first three UNIVAC I systems, two were sold to the Atomic Energy Commission, and one to the US Navy. The seventh UNIVAC I was installed at the Remington Rand sales office in New York City.

The eighth UNIVAC I, the first sale for business applications, was installed at the General Electric Appliance Division, to do payroll, in January, 1954. DuPont bought the twelfth UNIVAC I, it was delivered in September, 1954. Pacific Mutual Insurance received a UNIVAC I system in August, 1955. Other insurance companies soon followed. As for government use, the Census Bureau got a second UNIVAC I in October 1954.

In 1955, Remington Rand merged with the Sperry Company to form the Sperry Rand Corporation. While the Sperry Rand Corporation began to focus on the growing electronics and computer industry, it continued to manufacture office equipment like typewriters and a line of copiers under their Remington Division.

In 1979, Sperry Rand sold off its office machines business and Victor Kiam bought the electric shaver company in a leveraged buyout. This left Sperry Corporation, as the company became, with the computer company and related operations. Burroughs Corp., another computer company, bought Sperry in 1986. The merged company became Unisys Corporation.

Updegraff Typewriter Collection



 Updegraff Typewriter Collection

This typewriter collection is displayed on the main floor Reading Room and represents a portion of Mr. Joe.M. Updegraff's collection.  Mr. Updegraff was an instructor at Central Oregon Community College from 1966 to 1967.  He acquired his first machine in 1941 when a student of his gave him an 1892 Smith-Premier #2 that had been found on a scrap heap.

Until the time of his death in 1968, he had collected and restored over 250 machines from all over the United States, making it then the largest known private collection.  The collector was a serious student of the history of the typewriter and had a large collection of references on this subject.

Radio H.F. Internet Newsletter

A free monthly newsletter, distributed by e-mail, the Radio H.F. Internet Newsletter is a collection of interesting websites about radio, communications, technology and other related material. The Newsletter also includes monthly specials, feature products and news and developments at Radio H.F.

To subscribe, simply send your full name and e-mail address to

Previous issues of this newsletter, from February 1999 to April 2005, may be found at the following URL:

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LetterMpress will be a virtual letterpress environment, released first on the iPad that will allow anyone to create authentic-looking letterpress designs and prints. We created a prototype of the app and have been getting feedback from designer, artists, and letterpress printers and it’s been extremely positive!

In order to make LetterMpress a truly useful tool to a creative audience, we wanted to include enough sets of wood typefaces and art “cuts.” We decided to harness the power of “crowd-source funding” to help us acquire wood type and art cuts that will offer creatives a versatile collection in size, variety, and quality. Since focuses on funding creative projects, it’s the perfect conduit to reach our audience. The project has made it to the “New and Notable” and “Recommended” sections after the first day of its launch.

You can learn more about the LetterMpress project, and see a 5-minute introductory video on the LetterMpress Project page.