Sunday, June 5, 2011

Notes from the Underwood

Jack Kerouac once used this Underwood typewriter above in his early writing days. Somehow I find it hard to imagine him typing his long scroll of One The Road on this Underwood however. He later upgraded to a mint green Hermes 3000 typewriter. Writer Larry McMurty also wrote many of his novels on a Hermes.

The Swiss-engineered Hermes 3000 was an instant success when it was first introduced in 1958. It was considered to be one of the most sophisticated portable typewriters by many in analogville. My late aunt Frances endowed me with her truly mint Hermes, used only on Sundays for an occasional sharp-witted letter to the editor. She kept it clean and oiled and in the original mint green case when not in use. It still has very low miles for a typewriter of it's day, though lately I am itching to key up some ascii art on it one of these days soon.
       On another keynote, the New York Times reported today that the US Marshall Service recently sold the Unabomber's portable L3 Smith Corona typewriter at auction for $22,025. Granted, it's a handsome typewriter, but I cannot comprehend what the attraction is for this murderabilia as you can get a lot of typewriter on the open market for that fee and one that doesn't have a lot of bad ju-ju goin' on. Even so, I'm sure there are no really bad typewriters—only really bad typists.
Find other typewriters of literary note at Biblioklept, which is where I found the monster typewriter below which personally belonged to another famed Beat novelist, William Burroughs. %^)

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