Will's Typewriter Blog w/ news & notes
Blog about typewriter collecting, my website, my experiences and current events
NEW website project (June 30, 2006)

There may be some who read this who've noticed a slight change in my site ANTIQUE TYPEWRITERS by Will Davis.  That is just a tiny glimmering hint of what is to come, which I'll now announce here.

There is about to be a massive, total restructuring of that site toward a new, singular purpose:  the development and history of the very earliest "visible" typewriters.  It's a historical segment too often ignored, and it's really been left out for too long.  Part of that's my fault... but hey, I'm on it.

This new project also gives me something to sink my teeth into.  Years back, hell it seems like a REALLY long time ago, I started out with this whole portable typewriters thing.  Lots (and lots) of people said basically "hey, whaddaya want with those things -- they're not popular, they're not collectible and never will be."  I got the idea that they were SO common that everyone knew all about them. 

WRONG.  I started asking questions about this or that Smith-Corona and received deafening silence, or the occasional whipsered " .. i dunno .." and got kind of torqued.  I liked 'em, I was interested in 'em, and I thought that other people might be too -- here's the big one -- IF THEY COULD FIND OUT ANYTHING ABOUT ANYTHING THEY COULD FIND.  Years and hundreds of machines and thousands of hours later, you had (after various incarnations) the Portable Typewriter Reference Site.

Now, as that project began to have a feel to it like it were finished to my satisfaction, I started to look at some of the other machines outside that site's bracketing and felt as if they could be added onto my site.  I started a new and separate site on truly antique machines, and some not-so-antique ones older than those shown on my portables site, and got the thing up and running and people liked it and looked at it.  I added pages for other collectors, and some further features (Harris and Barr are the biggies) and did some patent research too, to give it a wholly different appeal.

Then, after a massive flurry of activity lasting only several months that felt like a year, the entire European Typewriter Project was conceived, photographed and scanned, e-mailed or mailed, processed, uploaded and built.   This immensely satisfying project is actually my MOST satisfying project of them all.

I then began to look in again on my antique machine site and thought to myself that the early visibles, like the Monarch and the Harris (which project in itself is a very close #2 to the European thing) didn't have enough coverage overall, and that there was, on the internet, a massive oversight / historical gap in those times.  I had now found a focus just as I had with that very first project, and with every project I've really pushed and driven for so far.  This one is going to be another big one, and I'm going to put 100% into it as I have the other sites.  I think there's enough info that people can really get into the machines, and step into that missing time period vis a vis what's "out there" on the net.

There -- describing it is the easy part.  Now comes the work.  But that's what I do. 

PS -- Those of you reading this that are members of the Portable Typewriter Forum should know that the forum's activity and members are important to me too and really keep me going.  Personal note -- Kate, love ya, and Jay- you're up there too.  (Those are my ever-present and ever-busy moderators, without whom I'd be much more stressed than I already am.)

PPS  -- Yes, at this rate I will run out of "typewriter eras" to research LONG before I die.  Or plan to die.  Or hope to die.  Or before somebody else plans for me to die.  Or...

2006-07-01 02:24:09 GMT
Comments (2 total)
I'm really looking forward to this, Will! There is a lot of history to be discovered in this area, no doubt. Collectors have overlooked the early visibles because they're "all the same" or "conventional," but I'm sure there are many subtle and not-so-subtle differences among the makes, and your work will give us a chance to appreciate the refinements that went into perfecting the frontstroke typewriter concept.
--Richard Polt
2006-07-01 16:26:55 GMT
Hi, i found your site on google. I just found an Underwood typewriter while antique-ing and i'm looking to disassemble and clean, but i can't find any documents on it. i was wondering if you could help me in my search. the serial number is 4448181-11. Thanks!
2006-07-04 23:05:21 GMT