Tag Archives: typewriters

Support: The Beat Museum

+ Beat Support +

Many of you likely noticed the campaign to help the venerable San Francisco institution City Lights bookstore “keep the lights on” and hooray, they rocketed past the $300,000 goal thanks to many small donations from around the world. Now, there’s a few other neighbours in the North Beach area to shine a light on, specifically “the Beat Museum” – an eclectic grassroots archive of artifacts from Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder and well… dozens of other luminaries who have influenced counter-culture, literature and music.

THE NORTH BEACH OF THE BEAT GENERATION IS IN GRAVE DANGER

To pitch in, you can buy a membership – especially handy if you live in the San Francisco area as it offers unlimited admission – those of us *anywhere else* can dig discounts on purchases (including mail order), exclusive content/interviews/events, and a membership card – I’m a sucker for membership cards!

Did you see a big North Beach neighbourhood round-up diary post I shared recently? Included a photo essay of many items on display including Allen Ginsberg’s typewriter (along with many other typewriters), Jack Kerouac’s jacket, Gary Snyder’s bits and pieces from Japan and so much more.

+ Their bookstore has a variety of rare additions, one-offs, special treats (I picked up a first edition of Allen Ginsberg’s Indian Journal on my visit).

So to recap, do one or several of the following:

* Go check out their website to see their mission and the big hearted folks running the show

* Purchase a membership (various levels/prices)

* Maybe buy yourself a little something nice, or a gift for someone else

* Kick them down some extra cash

* Sign up for their newsletter for campaigns & updates

* Spread the word to keep the goodness rolling

You got any questions or thoughts? Let me know.

And of course if you’re seeking unique Beat literature related content, I have dozens of podcasts, various essays, scrapbooks, maps, and so on for you to peruse.

Fondly, dave

PS shared respectfully knowing lots of folks are in tough financial situations and there’s lots of requests rolling around for various dire situations – in spirit of solidarity, safety, and abundance.

Exhibit: Beat Museum & environs / SF, 2018 / feat. Allen’s Organ, Jack’s Jacket, Gary’s Japa-cap and Beat Typewriters

Along a ramble…

Along the wanders, I found myself in San Francisco, really mostly in Pacifica, one of my favourite hideaways and just south of the city… but anyway, ventured into SF proper to (finally) get some time at the Beat Museum and wow, what a great job these folks are doing. As such, a few notes and artifacts from the museum and history dripping neighbourhood for your amusement and my memory.

Inadequate backgrounder…

Now I could go on and on about the importance of *the Beats* connecting literary traditions, sparking countercultures leading to the revolutionary “pranksters“ to the *hippies* (for lack of a better term), punks (no I’m not talking mohawks here), indie-making artists of all medium, everything… while also looking back to Whitman, cummings (sic), WCW, Wolfe, Twain, Thoreau, Dostoevsky… you get the general gist.  Or what I’m trying to see is wide-thinking, free-roaming, do it yourself souls sharing empathy for others, breaking conventions to find out who you really are and then manifesting the distilled results t into one’s own life which infuses your own soul, then effectuates inspiration in others – also (critically) this ain’t always pretty, rarely is. That’s not the point.

Work in progress…

Anyhow, the Beat Museum was (maybe is) undergoing some construction as the building needs an earthquake-resistant upgrade, – I’ve shared some various fundraising campaigns and podcast riffs about their history over the years in this archive maybe you’ve come across and supported their noble efforts… but anyway, the building was surrounded by scaffolding in a bit of commotion and for a guy like me has easily sensory overload it, it could easily be intense but I stepped in and disappeared for an afternoon amongst the curated exhibits.

This is not some fancy-pants museum, this is a grassroots effort with everything done by intention and in an attentive spirit. I took some crappy snapshots along the way just to remember for my own memory as i wander far and wide and sometimes the twist and turns get a little too quick for me to process real time in my noggin.

Artifacts and abstractions…

note: There is a little mini-theatre room looping a film (was it “Pull My Daisy? It’s all a bit hazy now a few countries later), which pleased me for the visual abstraction of Beat life as well as regrouping in a small / dark / cozy room.

Notable artifacts include:

“referee shirt” Neal Cassady famously wore while driving Furthur, the Merry Prankster bus

a plaid wool jacket Kerouac wore (I’ve had one just like it)

Continue reading Exhibit: Beat Museum & environs / SF, 2018 / feat. Allen’s Organ, Jack’s Jacket, Gary’s Japa-cap and Beat Typewriters

Collection: Typewriters – variety, unknown, mysteries, odds and ends

as i recall, this machine was at a school near Dikwella, Sir Lanka but truthfully i am not completely sure – pretty good hunch though – am i incorrect? please inform me. regardless, a noble, well-kept Aristocrat machineWhat follows is a round-up/collection of typewriters I either purchased, used, or simply observed along the way on various wanders. 

Significantly, this collection contains images of several machines which ended up in sundry folders, drives and dossiers etc about which i am not entirely sure of the origin. This is important to point out as i don’t want to mistake someone else’s photo or whatever, but simply cannot recall but… since i kept the image, there is some significance which may not be revealed until later (at which point, i’ll dutifully update).

Additionally, if your photo is included, please do let me know and i’ll update. 

Regardless, assembled here for historical / archival reference and personal interest, with annotations where possible.

Olivetti in Marty’s backyard in Provo, Utah – seen elsewhere in this archive, the poor neglected machine was left out in the rain and snow and now is a garden ornament rather than a typer – shared here for an example of what not to do to your machine

Continue reading Collection: Typewriters – variety, unknown, mysteries, odds and ends

Collection: Olivetti Lettera 34 (at Tsuchida Cottage, Okayama)

first look at new-to-me typewriter: Olivetti Lettera 34

Along our meandering honeymoon ramble, a spontaneous stop along the way – in an otherwise unremarkable corner of Ishikawa-ken at a 2nd hand shop – sparked two incidents.

 
the Lettera 34 settling in to address some envelopes for thank you cards – flowers are key

The first was the purchase of a nearly perfect condition Olivetti Lettera 34 typewriter (note: the 33 and 35 are listed in Typewriter Database but the 34 is not as it is – perhaps – a Japan specific machine including a “¥ shift” key on the number row). Also noting UK Pound, various fractions and a margin release key.

a few curious/amusing (whatever that means) key circled
detail for model name and number “olivetti Lettera 34”

Bought from the Granny shop owner for ¥2500 (about $22 US or $27 CDN) no haggling. (note: ribbon ordered as the one inside was dried out).

scene from inside the 2nd hand shop where typewriter was purchased

Continue reading Collection: Olivetti Lettera 34 (at Tsuchida Cottage, Okayama)

Items, assembled: friendly cards (featuring typewriters)

These ain’t cards for business, these are strictly pleasure for those i meet and/or call upon. It’s a club, or a confederation of associated renegades of sorts.

This batch are printed on water colour paper via inkjet, hand cut (lovingly) and inky stamped (stamps assorted).

The photos featured include: making cards, writing letters and postcards, materials used for making such – including watercolours, typewriters, postcards, scissors, pens, stamps and stationery. It’s all very recursive – or #meta – so to speak.

Noble and Legendary Typewriters: as evidenced at The Beat Museum

Noble and Legendary Typewriters, as evidenced at The Beat Museum, North Beach, San Francisco, Republic of California.

Typewriters (& drum kit) Variety Pack – Last Word Books, OlyWa

Stopped by the delightful Last Word Books in OlyWa (Olympia, Washington) – one of my faves in the world and holds loads of memories for me, as well as curates the “Uncle Weed Collection of Cannabis Books” (unofficial name). The location is onto the 4th in downtown Oly and is laden with both trad lit and all sorts of grassroots publications including from their in-house Last Word Press. Oh years ago they purchased the inventory of famed Port Townsend anarchistic publisher Loompanics iirc. The proprietor Sky Cosby is as eclectic and energetic as they come running bookshop, publishing imprint/press, also circus activities, perma-culture homesteading and other renegade community activities and initiatives. Rather remarkable fella indeed.

Continue reading Typewriters (& drum kit) Variety Pack – Last Word Books, OlyWa

Collection: Typewriters – variety, international

What follows is a round-up/collection of typewriters I either purchased, used, or simply observed along the way on various wanders.

Assembled for historical reference and personal interest, with annotations and examples where possible.

Typewriter: In Karapitiya Sri Lanka (Dave's personal)
Typewriter: (unknown brand) in Karapitiya, Sri Lanka (Dave’s personal)

This machine (brandname obscured by grunge) was purchased in Fort Galle, Sri Lanka in rather rough shape. Cleaned the keys with a toothbrush and solvent, added a new ribbon, attempted to repair the ribbon uptake (with limited success). The machine’s key produced a rather small typeface size making the cleaning of the worn down keys especially important. Banged out journals, letters and poems for a few months before moving on and leaving it behind.

Here’s a sample of the type produced by this machine – as evidenced, a little rough going but the keystrokes felt great and machine size was just right:

Intentions for 2018
Intentions for 2018 (typed)

Other examples are at: Night lake Diving and a Letter to Ayurvedic Clinic in Galle

Typewriter: Underwood Typemaster at Zed Hotel, Victoria, Canada
Typewriter: Underwood Typemaster at Zed Hotel, Victoria, Canada

Continue reading Collection: Typewriters – variety, international

Collection: Typewriters – Olympia SM3

Typewriter: Olympia, in Pe Ell WA (Dave's personal)
Typewriter: Olympia, in Pe Ell WA (Dave’s personal)

This lovely typewriter was found at a second-hand/grocery/miscellany store in the small town of Pe ELL, WA, USA (population approx 650) for around $20.

I was travelling light at the time but couldn’t resist the purchase, along with a large suitcase, both of which i then clumsily hauled around for the rest of my wander. By the time i returned “somewhere” i had to stash in storage and disappear again. As such,  i’ve never *actually* sat down and typed something substantial with this lovely machine as yet,…

Typewriter: Olympia (hardshell case) in Pe Ell WA
Typewriter: Olympia (hardshell case) in Pe Ell WA (Dave’s personal)

Comes with a grey clamshell case, though this machine is not “portable” per se, its a heavy metal beast with a wonderful burgundy-ish powdercoat.

Continue reading Collection: Typewriters – Olympia SM3

Collection: Typewriters – Underwood Universal

Typerwriter: Underwood (Dave's personal)
Typerwriter: Underwood Universal / in case, needing a cleaning (Dave’s personal)

This Underwood Universal was a gift to me when i was about 19 in 1989 living in my VW camper bus. Already well-used, this is/was the typewriter which guided me to love the analog touch and immediacy of a solid metal machine. And its made in Canada like me.

What follows are a few annotation about this machine and the creative works produced with its lovely keys.

Typerwriter: Underwood Universal / detail for ribbon and keys (Dave's personal)
Typerwriter: Underwood Universal / detail for ribbon and keys (Dave’s personal)

While i had always had typewriters around (like me, my Mom and Grandpa were always making newsletters and other projects), they were usually the new electronic models of the day with “ball” type interfaces or the “wheel” kind. Of course, both required electricity which wasn’t an option for me in the van (most of the time anyhow). As such, me and this charming machine spent hours alone as i banged out postcards, missives and manifestos. No evidence handy from that era.

Continue reading Collection: Typewriters – Underwood Universal