Chris Aldrich Avatar
Chris Aldrich
Biomedical Engineer with interests in: education, information theory, complexity, math, journalism, mnemotechny, food, indieweb, economics, history, anthropology, note taking ✪ http://stream.boffosocko.com
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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

@the If it helps to be able to say that Tom Hanks taught you to change a typewriter ribbon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBbsNKaVAB0

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

@the I started out with reading Polt's The Typewriter Revolution (Countryman Press, 2015) which has some good basics. Consulting his basic typewriter restoration page was very helpful too. Beyond that and knowing the names of some of the basic parts, the rest is just following along with YouTube videos and practicing on getting my own machines up to snuff. It's almost amazing what you can do with a single screwdriver, a squeeze bottle of paint thinner, canned air, and a toothbrush.

I did just get a copy of The Manual Typewriter Repair Bible, but have yet to really crack it. Hopefully it'll up my game for this upcoming repair.

It's been a very satisfying and useful little hobby these past 4 months. If you want to crib from my notes...

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

@patrickrhone @bradenslen Thanks for the birthday wishes.

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

@KimberlyHirsh I suspect some Duolingo courses know about the quirkiness of the repeated use of odd words and do it on purpose for the whimsy. From a language learning perspective, hearing bizarre, but common words out of general context makes your brain work harder to capture the subtleties of the grammar and usage. The repetition helps to drive less common words into your brain.

Perhaps there's also a hidden lobbying element too? I'll admit, I do eat leeks way more frequently now than I ever did before starting Welsh.

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

Acquisition: 1955 Royal HHE Standard Typewriter A Brownish gray 1955 Royal HH typewriter with green plastic keys sits on a wooden plank table. There's a yellow post it note on the right side of the hood with the Sharpied number 270 on it. Of note, the right side of the keyboard has a long tab button to be actuated by the side of ones right hand rather than tapped by a finger.A Royal HH typewriter sitting in the left side of a box that's too short front to back and too wide left to right. The carriage on the machine is all the way to the right. boffosocko.com
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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

@herself @KimberlyHirsh In the Welsh lessons it's always leeks, parsnips and sausages. Use of both everyday and bizarre items like these in language lessons go back to the Ollendorff method. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/HeinrichGottfriedOllendorff

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

I just downloaded my copy of Bob Doto’s book A System for Writing which was released for purchase this morning. I read an early draft in April and know it’s excellent. If knowledge management, zettelkasten, or writing are of interest to you, this is one of the best books on these topics. If you’re just get... boffosocko.com
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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

A light gray Olympia SM3 De Luxe typewriter on a wooden table next to a highball glass of Penderyn whisky. In the background we can see a library card catalog.

Starting off my second half-century with a shot of Penderyn Single Malt Whisky and some work on an Olympia SM3 manual typewriter.

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

@odd Congratulations. I've yet to add a Hermes to my collection yet. Is there any truth to the rumor being spread by @patrickrhone that one has to be an excellent father to own one of those? If I recall, you started out with an Erika, right? How large has your collection become?

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

Large 8x10 foot anti-slip rug mat laid out on a living room floor for cutting up.

I’m hoping this 8’x10′ non-slip rug pad can be cut down into enough typewriter pads to accommodate the segment of typewriters in my collection. They’ll both help protect my wooden tables from scratches as well as to keep my typewriters from “travelling” during use.

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

@hutaffe Ha! It is very lush...

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

I may have just acquired a 1958 Olympia SM3 portable typewriter. I suspect it would make a good 50th birthday present come Monday. I’ll spend some time over the weekend cleaning it up.

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

@hutaffe Is your affliction so bad that you picked up Marcin Wichary's recent multivolume history?

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

@richardcarter Those were good friends indeed!

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

@hutaffe just be careful not to slip down the slippery slope into the wonderful world of typewriters... 😍

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

@Gabz I love fuertes which are fattier than the standard, but what variety are those, and what sort of texture do they have?

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

@aa I was just at Sea Bags in both Maine and Mystic, CT. Most of their stuff veered toward simplicity. A few of their pieces had side pockets, but not many. Those bags account for at least 80% of their business.

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

@richardcarter hooray! Have you ever held a first edition copy of Darwin's paper?

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

@the I took me a trip across country and some digging to find my old Smith-Corona Clipper at my parents' house. I'm glad they kept it. Hopefully yours will pop up soon.

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

I spent a chuck of the early morning and the past hour finally cleaning up my Shaw-Walker filing cabinet. I can’t wait to move it into the house and start using it. Photos of the finished product soon…

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

The analysis I’m not hearing about the 2024 presidential debate that is stunningly striking to me is that Donald J. Trump was asked twice about childcare and twice about the opioid crisis and all four times he actively chose to use his time to defend attacks on himself rather than address these major issue... boffosocko.com
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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

@bradenslen Thanks. I am hitting the upper limit on collection space as well as bandwidth to use them all in a regular rotation. I did manage to pick up an Olympia SM3 for $11 recently and I'm on the lookout for one or two bulkier standards, so one or two are going to have to go sooner or later. At least they'll leave me in far better condition than they arrived. If I keep this up at my recent rate, I'll have to open a typewriter repair/sales store.

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

@mattypenny Based on reports (read: complaints) from family members, most mechanical keyboards are quieter than these old typewriters. When it comes to mid-century typewriters there are varying levels of what they considered "quiet". Many manufacturers added felt padding and custom rubber washers to their machines to dampen things down, especially for companies that had dozens of machines in a typing pool which could be quite loud.

Alternately, I have heard stories of companies piping in typing noise into their workspaces as a means of creating both ambience as well as trying to help up the level of productivity—presumably as an aural form of "body doubling". I won't bother to mention the ever-growing ASMR space...

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

Acquisition: 1955 Royal Quiet De Luxe Portable Typewriter View down onto a 1955 Royal Quiet De Luxe Portable Typewriter with a gray body and green keys sitting on a polished wooden table.View down into the left side of the typewriter carriage on a 1955 Royal Quiet De Luxe. On the outside of the machine on the far left is a black thumbscrew knob which attaches to an unseen metal rod which actuates a gear that attaches through the hub for the typewriter's drawband just above the gear. Just above this is a small indicator wheel which appears to be set at about 3.5. boffosocko.com
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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

Users of the early Henry Dreyfuss Royal Quiet De Luxe Portable Typewriters Two Royal Quiet De Luxe typewriters sitting on top of a library card catalog at angles to each other. One on the left is black with grey trim while the other is gray with chrome trim. boffosocko.com
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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

@the Oops! I wasn't watching the context and presumed you had made your comment on this post from a few days back which pictured an earlier 1948 Royal portable and it's younger brother, a 1949 Quiet De Luxe designed by Henry Dreyfuss. It was the later 1949 version in light gray with chrome which I referenced with respect to Nabokov.

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

@the If it looked like this one it was probably either a 1949 or 1950 and either a QDL as pictured or possibly an Arrow (if it didn't have tab functionality). I suspect that the all light gray/chrome model was the same one that Vladimir Nabokov and his wife Vera had for much of their work and which Carl Mydans photographed them with in 1958.

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

Celebrating National Typewriter Day by cleaning up a 1955 Royal Quiet De Luxe. Happy Typewriter Day to everyone who celebrates!

3x5 inch index card with a typing sample that reads: 1955 Royal Quiet De Luxe Serial number: RA-3010220 Pica typeface, 10 CPI, portable bichrome, U.S. keyboard, segment shift; tweed hard case, key 234567890- qwertyuiop asdfghjkl; zxcvbnm,./ "#$% &'()* QWERTYUIOP ASDFGHJKL:@ ZXCVBNM,.? the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. A VERY BAD QUACK MIGHT JINX ZIPPY FOWLS.3x5 inch index card with a typing sample that reads: 1955 Royal Quiet De Luxe Serial number: RA-3010220 Pica typeface, 10 CPI, portable bichrome, U.S. keyboard, segment shift; tweed hard case, key 
234567890- qwertyuiop asdfghjkl; zxcvbnm,./ "#$% &'()* QWERTYUIOP ASDFGHJKL:@ ZXCVBNM,.? the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. A VERY BAD QUACK MIGHT JINX ZIPPY FOWLS.

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

Certainly Glynn Turman’s portrayal of Chiron, a centaur, in Percy Jackson and the Olympians (2023) is an homage to Moses Gunn’s portrayal of Cairon in The Neverending Story (1983). Though Cairon was a humanoid in the movie, in the original book Michael Ende had the character as a centaur.

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

Two Royal Quiet De Luxe typewriters sitting on top of a library card catalog at angles to each other. One on the left is black with grey trim while the other is gray with chrome trim.

Henry Dreyfuss Royal Quiet De Luxe Typewriter showdown. Which do you like better, the black and gray 1948 or the grey and chrome 1949?

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

@manton I was at the Aldrich Mansion in Providence just a few days ago... We should have swung out to Newport, but went out to the Berkshires instead. Trekking over to Portsmouth, NH now.

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

@patrickrhone Someone must be a very good father! Let me know if you need ribbon.

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

Two packages of index card guides sitting on a library card catalog next to a gray Royal typewriter. The manilla package has 4x6" guides and the 5x8" guides are in blue pressboard.

Oxford seems to have quit manufacturing the 1/5 cut tabbed 4 x 6 inch index card guides, but yesterday I scored a bundle of 100 along with some 5 x 8 inch A-Z guides. The big win here was that the lot came for a total of $3.50!

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

@JohnBrady Thanks! That's awesome, not just for the typewriter, but for the Little Free Library as well. This August my own Little Free Library will be celebrating its 9th anniversary. Now that I know it's a thing, I might have to ensconce a typewriter into it somehow...

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

Acquisition: 1953 Smith-Corona Silent Typewriter Angle on a brown crinkle painted typewriter with green keys.An index card typed on a Smith-Corona Silent typewriter that contains a quote which reads: 
Cream index card with red lines that contains a typing sample that reads: 1953 Smith-Corona Silent
Serial number: 5S-409288 
Elite typeface, 12 CPI, portable, bichrome, U.S. keyboard, segment shift 
234567890- qwertyuiop asdfghjkl; zxcvbnm,./ *#$%&'()* QWERTYUIOP ASDFGHJKLO ZXCVBNM,.? the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. A VERY BAD QUACK MIGHT JINX ZIPPY FOWLS. boffosocko.com
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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

@JohnPhilpin I remember learning learning in college that Silverstein was a regular writer for Playboy back in the day...

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

@JohnPhilpin You've probably missed a few if you had to go back that far. 😁 Half the fun of typewriter collecting is spending some time tinkering on the machines to bring them back up to full speed or modifying them (something I'm about to get into). Eventually I'll either run out of space or it'll turn into a typewriter repair business. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

A deconstructed typewriter sitting on a towel on a wooden table surrounded by the brown steel body portions, screws, typewriter ribbon reels, screwdrivers, pliers, and brushes.

Cleaning up a new typewriter.

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

@KimberlyHirsh I'll loan you as many as you'd like and you can take your choice.

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

@bradenslen Thanks, though it may seem like a rarer typewriter than it really is in large part because there is no model name imprinted on it. As a result they're usually listed as generic Remington portables online. Without looking very far, I see at least two of them on eBay right now one for auction starting at $60 and another buy it now for $99. I'm tempted to make some more $21 offers...

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

A full reel of red and black typewriter ribbon in a clear plastic bag with some internal ink smudges sits on a 20 drawer library card catalog next to a Henry Dreyfuss Royal Quiet De Luxe typewriter and a vase full of red roses.

A full reel of 660 yards of black and red nylon bichrome typewriter ribbon just landed on my doorstep in the morning mail from Baco Ribbon. Who’s up for a type-in in the Los Angeles area?

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

Acquisition: 1950 Remington All-New Portable Typewriter medium shot of a shiny gunmetal gray Remington All-New typewriter sitting on a wooden tabel boffosocko.com
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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

Remington All-New Typewriter opened up with the platen removed.

Variable line spacer surgery and some clean up on the 1950 Remington All-New.

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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

Acquisition: 1949 Smith-Corona Clipper Portable Typewriter Angle down on the front of a brown Smith-Corona Clipper typewriter with green keys and a brown spacebar sitting on a wooden table.3x5 inch index card with a type sample that reads: 
1949 Serial number: 5C-102313 Smith-Corona Clipper 
Elite typeface, 12 CPI, portable, bichrome, Dutch keyboard 234567890/ qwertyuiop- asdfghjklå, zxcvbnme. boffosocko.com
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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

Bulk Order of Typewriter Ribbon from Baco Ribbon & Supply Co. Two spools of black and red bichrome typewriter ribbon threaded into a Smith-Corona. In the foreground is the typebasket and two rows of glass keys. boffosocko.com
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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

1949 Smith-Corona Clipper Black Wooden Case Restoration Smith-Corona 1949 Case On my lunch break today, I spent some time cleaning up the Black fabric-covered wooden carrying case for my most recent Smith-Corona typewriter acquisition. I started by wiping down the black fabric which was filthy, but otherwise in very serviceable condition. There are a few small cuts or small divots, but nothing painfully eye-catching. It took some elbow grease with mild detergent and a damp cl oth, but it came out quite well. Next up came some work on the steel fittings which were showing sighs of pitting and rust. A bit of masking tape to protect the black fabric, and a bronze brush seemed to take care of the worst of it. Wiping things down with some Sparklean a brand of jewelry cleaner I have lying around seemed to polish things up nicely. I finished things up by quickly wiping down the interior. I also cleaned out the clever spring loaded hinges, and then gave all the solid metal fittings a light and very thin coat of machine oil. Thinking 1 was done and having the case back in order for at least the next decade, it dawned on me that the white splotch on the case exterior was probably some spilled liquid paper. I went at it with a touch of 91% isopropyl Αχέροχο alcohol and then wiped it down with a moist cloth. It came off readily and do esn't seem to have damaged the exterior. Next up for the weekend is to cleand out the sticky keys and provide any internal cleaning and oiling which may be required..Two overlapping 4x6 inch index cards typed in blue ink which read: 
Smith-Corona 1949 Case On my lunch break today, I spent some time cleaning up the Black fabric-covered wooden carrying case for my most recent Smith-Corona typewriter acquisition. I started by wiping down the black fabric which was filthy, but otherwise in very serviceable condition. There are a few small cuts or small divots, but nothing painfully eye-catching. It took some elbow grease with mild detergent and a damp cloth, but it came out quite well. Next up came some work on the steel fittings which were showing sighs of pitting and rust. A bit of masking tape to protect the black fabric, and a bronze brush seemed to take care of the worst of it. Wiping things down with some Sparklean a brand of jewelry cleaner I have lying around seemed to polish things up nicely. I finished things up by quickly wiping down the interior. I also cleaned out the clever spring loaded hinges, and then gave all the solid metal fittings a light and very thin coat of machine oil. Thinking 1 was done and having the case back in order for at least the next decade, it dawned on me that the white splotch on the case exterior was probably some spilled liquid paper. I went at it with a touch of 91% isopropyl alcohol and then wiped it down with a moist cloth. It came off readily and doesn't seem to have damaged the exterior. Next up for the weekend is to clean out the sticky keys and provide any internal cleaning and oiling which may be required. boffosocko.com
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Chris Aldrich
@chrisaldrich

Typed white index card that reads: I've been hunting for a Smith-Corona Silent for my collection for several months. I've come pretty close on several auctions recently, but I've been losing out. Tonight the dry spell has ended and I've purchased an early 50s model in brown with green keys. It looks to be in about as good a condition as any I've seen in months. Even better, I got it for less than half of the average of $55 or more than I've been seeing them go for. Patience really does pay off. The other bonus is that it's an elite machine which I haven't been seeing many of lately.

More details when it arrives…