15 April 2013

[pdx] Vintage Typewriters On Display At Powell's Books

2920.When we visited Powell's Books downtown store this last evening, I went to the Pearl Room, on the 3rd floor as is my wont, because I loves me them art-how-to books and the graphic design and typography books. And if you can't find it there and you don't already have it, you don't need it.

The third floor has a display featuring books on typography and type. So, what perfect accompaniment than … typewriters.

To those of you who were gebornt during the last 20-30 years or so, a typewriter is much like a computer, except your files were 'typewritten' (that Wikipedia thing would probably call this a portmanteau of typewriter and written) on things called pieces of paper, and these files were saved by a method we called putting them away in a safe place. Crazy, right?

Typewriters, while not able to run World of Warcraft, EVE Online, or connect to the cloud, did have the advantage of working during a power failure or after an electromagnetic pulse … though, honestly, if you were suffering through the aftereffects of an EMP you probably had other matters on your mind and stopped typing, at least for a while.

And you couldn't download apps to them. They kind of were the app. Anyway, please browse this brief little gallery, presented for your illumination. Clicky to embiggen.

This first one is a Royal of some make and more than a little antiquity. It was on the uppermost shelf, and was actually out of sight to me, even at 5' 11" in height. That didn't stop me from holding the camera up, though, and letting it do the dirty work:

 The next one is a Corona, distinguished most by this lovely maroon color.

Next comes a Corona that looks a bit older than the last one, with a plate on detailing the seller-servicer.

 The (poorly photographed) seller's plate tells us it was sold and/or serviced by E.W. Hall Co, Inc, purveyors of Office Appliances who were located in Seattle at 911 2nd Avenue and could be phoned at ELliot 3441. 

This next one is a Remington Model 2, or maybe Model 5. 

The card in the lid gives us a bit of information on one of this model's most famous owners – Agatha Christie, who we understand was a mystery writer of some note. We also note that this card does not state that this was the model Dame Agatha herself owned, the implication being her portable was of that ilk.

This Remington, in particular, was sold/serviced by Oregon Typewriter Company, 330 SW 5th Avenue, Portland, Phone ATwater 5378. That would be 503-289-5378 today. You can at least tell it was post-1930 by the post-Great Renaming address (otherwise it would be in the 80-100 range on Third Street).

If you can get by Powell's within the time these sweeties are on display, give 'em a good look. 

They also have great books on type there, several of which are in my collection.

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