From a Caligraph 2

Filed under: typewriters — olivander January 23, 2011 @ 3:26 pm

I got it in my head to see if I could at a minimum get a type sample from my c.1886 Caligraph No.2, using carbon paper in the absence of a ribbon. While the typeface needs to be cleaned–and apparently several of the lowercase keytops have been switched around–I think the results are surprisingly good.

This is probably the first typing the Caligraph has done in a long, long time. I was mildly disappointed that the “Q” did not have the L-shaped tail that is depicted on the keytop.

Because the feed roller is pretty much shot, I taped the top edge of the paper and carbon paper together to keep them aligned, and then I taped the leading corners of the carbon paper to the platen. In my first attempt, the sheets tended to travel independently of one another.

I also had to type with one finger pressed against the right end of the carriage, as I was too chicken to attempt to tension the longitudinal carriage spring.

Perhaps I will eventually get it to the point where one could type a letter on it. Some typebars clash and need to be realigned. The lowercase keytops need to be unscrambled. The “(” key’s wooden keylever is broken and needs to be repaired. And of course the spring ought to be tensioned. For now, this baby step has me pretty darn happy.

Sounds of the Past: The Remington Typewriter Co. Band

Filed under: AV Club, Diversions, Finds — olivander January 18, 2011 @ 5:44 pm

Remington Typewriter Band c.1912

Here we have the two sides from Columbia A1433, the first record of a handful released by the Remington Typewriter Co. Band.  Both were recorded Aug 27, 1913.  It used to be common for large companies to have their own employee-comprised concert bands and sports teams that played primarily for the enjoyment of the employees.  Of course, these company bands also acted as a form of advertising.  At the time these recordings were made, the band would have been under the leadership of Harry Putnam, former director of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Baily Circus Band.

Formed in 1905, the Remington Band quickly became well-known outside the sphere of the factory grounds, performing regularly at events all around Herkimer County, NY.  In 1910, they embarked on a month-long tour of New York state and just inside the Canadian  border.  Possibly their highest-profile gig was playing at the opening of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1939.

Beginning in 1926, the band could be heard at 8:30 every Wednesday evening on WGY, broadcasting from a studio built in the Remington employee cafeteria.

Reflecting the new corporate structure, the band changed its name to the Remington Rand Band in 1936.  After WWII, the band changed names again to the Ilion Fireman’s Band, a band which eventually became today’s Ilion Civic Band.

Click to download/listen:

Side A: Salute to the Sultan

Side B: Fraternal Spirit March

We’ve all got to have something to fall back upon

Filed under: Errata, Finds, ephemera — olivander @ 1:22 pm

From a 1917 Duluth, MN, city directory: