Monday, August 8, 2016

Jeweled Escapements

Addendum: One of my readers, Adam, sent me an eBay listing of an encased escapement from one of these and it is clear that there also is at least one jeweled bearing on which the escapement wheel rotates.  It is possible that the dogs mentioned below are not jeweled, but to my eye they still appear to have tips which are not steel.  It is most likely that just as in a watch several parts are jeweled.
It is my mission now to find one of these in horrible shape which I can tear apart so we can have more definitive information.  I am somewhat considering tearing apart my own Classic 10, but it's probably still in good enough shape I shouldn't.

Surely some of you have seen this symbol on some Smith Corona typewriters, this example being an early sixties Classic 10.  You have probably wondered what a jeweled escapement is.  Maybe you have seen watches labeled as being 7, 15, 17, or 21 jewels.  The jewels used are often corundum (gem varieties being ruby and sapphire) and they are used either as bearings or in places where they are struck to reduce wear and friction.  Corundum has a hardness of  9 on the Mohs scale, just below diamonds which are hardest. 
The escapement in a typewriter works like an escapement in a watch.  There is a gear with long curved teeth which can be sort of seen in the very center of this photograph.  Each tooth is a space.  Sometimes if one tooth is missing or damaged a machine might skip every certain number spaces, that number being the total number of teeth on the escapement gear.   The movement of this gear is restricted by little escapement dogs, and those are the parts which are jeweled.  In the picture below we zoom in roughly to the red box seen here.
Here we have one of the teeth on the escapement gear indicated by a blue arrow.  The two dogs are both indicated with green arrows.  If you look closely at the tips of these you can see they are a different color, sort of a black in contrast to the steel.  These are the jewels.  If you google "Pallet Stone Jewels" in regard to watchmaking you can probably find a pretty clear diagram.  Since they are a blackish color my guess is that these would be sapphires, but obviously not ones which are gemstone quality.  They are however, indeed literally jewels.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Creative Writing Piece: Night Driving

I was told by a fan of this blog I should post more, and furthermore that they would like to see some of my creative writing.  I had a vision of this being a blog just about typewriters and typewriter-esque things, but I am happy to share some of my writing if you want to see it!  I will clearly be marking all of my poetry or creative writing as such so that those of you only interested in typewriter things can just glaze over it.  For the rest of you who are interested, please enjoy and look forward to more posts like this one:
Sometimes saying to oneself "Ok, let's just write like Kerouac" is a method for writing terrible stuff, and sometimes it turns out all right.  I did this bit in three quick drafts in rapid succession, the first to just barf it all out.  Then I read it aloud, noted to myself which parts I did not like, and then wrote the second draft copying the first draft and making adjustments and adding and subtracting a few things.  Then I read that aloud, and marked and made changes with a pen, reading it several times.  I then typed this draft you see having made all my changes in pen and adding just a few more, mostly adding or removing punctuation or single words.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Pop's Ice Cream and Soda Bar : A Perfect Place to Type

Strawberry banana ice cream soda and a Hermes 3000 I bought and blogged with 
Brandon making a tasty treat on the 80 year old soda fountain 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Word on the Street - Hand Typed Poems

My FAQ designed so people could answer questions while I thought or typed.  Very few people seemed interested in reading it though. 
These excellent photos were taken by my friend Curt Ramsey.

Monday, May 2, 2016

My Favorite Typewriter (is mine now!)

I guess I have two machines I often call my favorite; one is a favorite for writing and one is the one I most enjoy owning.  I love the Royal Aristocrat/Arrow/Quiet De Luxe for writing and I own several.  One particular Aristocrat is my favorite and another Aristocrat is my most used (the one pictured above).  It is hard to top these Royals for typing experience, at least in regard to my own personal tastes.  The Underwood I love for several reasons.  I am pretty interested in World War 2 and I have been for most of my life.  A typewriter that served my country was really high on my want list for a long time before I found this.  There are machines labeled as Navy and others labeled as Army but I was particular to the Navy once since my father was an officer in the Navy and so are a handful of my extended family and friends.I grew up around.  The Underwood has a few features modified for military use including an easy to read 9-pitch typeface and a shift lock to keep the carriage from bobbing in an airplane. 
So, what if these two favorite machines could be combined into just one?  Well, here is a 1942 Royal Arrow built for and used by the U.S. Navy during the second World War.  I am so psyched to have this.  It was actually a gift from a fellow typospherian who knew I wanted it badly and decided he would like to give it to me.  Wow!  This has been THE top machine on my want list for a few years now, and well, here it is!  Will it be the sole favorite machine?  Probably not, because the large all caps typeface is not always appropriate or preferable, but it is way more a favorite than the Underwood already was.  And it types just like those other Royals... and sometimes you do need large all caps... ok, it's probably the best candidate for Mark's favorite typewriter.  It's so awesome.