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July 14, 1995
Bravo to Alvin Shuster ("Ode to the Typewriter," Commentary, July 7) for helping so many of us relive those early days of pounding the keys, sometimes with only two fingers, while chewing a cigar or having a cigarette dangle from one's lips as you thought you were writing the greatest news story of the day! And yes, many of us still have our old Royals, IBM electrics and Olivettis sitting nearby "just in case," or in some storage area, gathering dust but keeping cherished memories alive, while we quietly create prose and/or poetry.
November 28, 2013 | By Nita Lelyveld
Each morning this month, from 8 to 9, Stacy Elaine Dacheux has seated herself in a little roundabout in Echo Park, with low rosemary bushes behind her and a skinny cactus in front, at the spot where Lake Shore Avenue meets Effie and Lemoyne streets. On a folding chair, her legs arranged such that her right ankle rests on her left knee, she's improvised a desk on which to prop her vintage Smith Corona. Thus settled, she has typed - as cars and trucks have whizzed by and neighbors have walked by, often with dogs in tow. Dacheux is a writer and artist who had been thinking a lot about ritual when a friend asked if she'd like to give a talk at a Chinatown salon.
September 12, 1988
The first successful commercially produced typewriter appeared in 1873. The Sholes & Glidden Type-writer was produced for a fee by arms and sewing machine manufacturer, E. Remington & Sons. The machines were eventually renamed Remington. Because the first typewriters were made in a sewing machine factory, they looked much like the sewing machines of the day with a pedal to return the carriage. An earlier version more closely resembled a piano than the modern typewriter.
November 26, 2013 | By Lisa Boone
Using vintage typewriters as inspiration, Santa Monica artist Louise Anne Marler crafts whimsical, contemporary artworks from manual machines now rendered obsolete. Playful and colorful like Pop art, the L.A. Marler limited-edition archival prints are replicated on woodblocks ($65), as fine art prints (up to $600) and on canvas pillows ($45). Also available: canvas bags, T-shirts, note cards and jewelry. Marler said she views the vintage machines as symbols of "communication, letters, books, stories, commerce and life.
January 20, 1991
I have been appreciating Mary Yarber's weekly column on education since it began. I particularly feel that her advice about buying children a standard typewriter rather than an expensive computer is excellent. Both of our daughters learned to type on a used standard Royal that I purchased from the University of Wyoming in 1952. I still use it myself--to type this letter, for example. DOLORES B. DACE Los Angeles
September 12, 1988 | NANCY RIVERA BROOKS
It was a high school crush of sorts. In 1938, teen-ager Dan R. Post fell for an aging black typewriter known as the Blickensderfer No. 5 and coughed up $1.50 for it. He didn't know it at the time, but Post was embarking on an on-and-off obsession with typewriter collecting. Post, who publishes an Arcadia-based newsletter for other collectors, admits to having lost count of how many typewriters he now owns but adds that many serious collectors have amassed dozens if not hundreds of the machines.
September 12, 1988 | NANCY RIVERA BROOKS, Times Staff Writer
The IBM Selectric was a child of the 1960s, revolutionizing the business of typing with its lightening-fast typing ball and its lack of a movable carriage. But like many artifacts of the Big Chill generation, the Selectric has passed quietly from the scene. The hulking metal machine was done in last summer by the electronic era.
In our wireless-broadband-text messaging era of instant gratification, the manual typewriter would seem about as relevant as the Pony Express. But for Jen Hofer, poet, typewriter collector and escritorio publico, the imperfection of pre-digital technology is the stuff of romance.
Nearly 20 years of U.S.-Japan typewriter wars reached a head several weeks ago when America's biggest seller of consumer typewriters, Connecticut-based Smith Corona, announced that it was moving its last American factory to Mexico. Smith Corona complained that it was driven out of the United States by unfair competition from Japan-based Brother Industries, which had been found guilty by the U.S. government of dumping products at below "fair value."
February 25, 1992 | LOUIS SAHAGUN
The city of Los Angeles cares more about how much things cost than where they come from. A measure being considered for placement on the June ballot would change that, granting California and Los Angeles County firms bidding preference on city contracts and establishing a minimum domestic content requirement for purchases. But, as these case studies from city purchasing files show, many products are hard-to-define hybrids of the global marketplace.
December 6, 2012 | By Bob Pool, Los Angeles Times
The intersection of 5th and Flower streets in downtown Los Angeles was designated Ray Bradbury Square by city officials Thursday. But a better description might be "the intersection of imagination and inspiration," author and producer Steven Paul Leiva told fans of the noted writer who died in June at age 91. The location, near the front entrance to the Central Library, is a fitting place to honor the author of "The Illustrated Man" and "The...
November 20, 2012 | By Carolyn Kellogg
The last typewriter to be made in the U.K. has rolled off the production line -- and straight into London's Science Museum. Brother has been making typewriters in the U.K. since 1985, the BBC reports , producing 5.9 million typewriters at its Wrexham factory. Since the advent of computers, demand has gone down. Way down. The worker who produced the last typewriter had been at the job for two decades -- so long that he had once made one with his eyes closed. The last typewriter will join 200 others in the Science Museum's collection.
April 18, 2012 | By Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times
When Steve Soboroff gets one of them in his sights, he goes into what he calls "emergency overdrive. " He has been known to bug estate lawyers, hoping to move in and make an acquisition before someone else has the same idea. Sometimes, his enthusiasm gets the better of him. That's what happened when Walter Cronkite died in 2009 and Soboroff got a little too pushy too soon. PHOTOS: Typewriters click with history "Let the body cool off," huffed a lawyer for the famed TV anchor before hanging up. That one got away, but Soboroff, a Los Angeles real estate investor and civic leader, has bagged 15 others.
January 19, 2012 | By Stephanie Coontz
As of 2010, according to a recent report from the Pew Research Center, married couples had fallen to barely 51% of U.S. households, with a full 5% drop in new marriages between 2009 and 2010 alone. The data for 2011 aren't in yet, but if that decline continued last year, less than half of American adults are in a legal marriage now. Is marriage going the way of the electric typewriter and the VHS tape? Not exactly. The decline of marriage seems especially dramatic in comparison to the way things were 50 years ago. In 1960, almost half of 18- to 24-year-olds and 82% of 25- to 34-year-olds were married.
December 31, 2011 | Patt Morrison
There'll be a pair of Pasadena institutions along Colorado Boulevard for New Year's -- the Rose Parade, and a company marking 100 years in business. Anderson Business Technology, nee Anderson Typewriter Co., has bucked two trends: It's been a one-family operation all along, and it's managed to leap from the age of slammed return levers and carbon paper to ctrl.alt.delete. Don Anderson and his son, David, are chairman and president, the second and third generations in the firm. Change has been crucial to their century of success, and yet a romantic roll call of anachronistic mechanical brands -- Royal, Underwood, Smith Corona, Olivetti, Sholes and Glidden, Hermes -- still connects the Andersons to the "typosphere," where poet Charles Bukowski's manual Olympia stars on a mouse pad, and composer Leroy Anderson's whimsical "The Typewriter" stars on YouTube.
September 11, 2011 | By Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times
Fante A Family's Legacy of Writing, Drinking and Surviving Dan Fante Harper Perennial: 416 pp., $14.99 paper When 45-year-old Dan Fante first sat down at his father's typewriter, the result was typical. He felt great banging out a manuscript, but after one less-than-stellar response, he immediately trashed it. Success and destruction: That had been Dan's cycle for decades until it was interrupted, finally, by luck and grace and the desire to write. Of course, Fante's typewriter came with a heavier legacy than most: His father, John Fante, wrote "Ask the Dust," the 1939 novel of a striving writer that has become a Los Angeles classic.
April 12, 1990 | RONALD L. SOBLE
Question: You've written about collecting typewriters. But is there collector interest in other pieces of office equipment?--N.F. Answer: According to Darryl Rehr of Los Angeles, there is a "subculture of office equipment collectors" in this country. Rehr, 39, a free-lance television news journalist and typewriter collector, recently wrote a pamphlet, "A Beginner's Guide to Collectible Calculators," in which he describes calculators worth up to $1,000.
The young man in baggy jeans and a Nike cap hunches over his notebook, trying to decipher emotions laid bare in a tangle of scribbled ink. "Our relationship isn't like it was. I feel bad. You're drifting away from me slowly but surely.... I look forward to your response. I love you," 28-year-old Jose reads haltingly, then looks up at the man next to him. "How does that sound?" he asks. Jesus Tenorio, 33, stops tapping at the keys of his electric typewriter.
September 1, 2011 | By Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times
It's a stultifying afternoon outside the Delhi District Court as Arun Yadav slides a sheet of paper into his decades-old Remington and revs up his daily 30-word-a-minute tap dance. Nearby, hundreds of other workers clatter away on manual typewriters amid a sea of broken chairs and wobbly tables as the occasional wildlife thumps on the leaky tin roof above. "Sometimes the monkeys steal the affidavits," Yadav said. "That can be a real nuisance. " The factories that make the machines may be going silent, but India's typewriter culture remains defiantly alive, fighting on bravely against that omnipresent upstart, the computer.
February 4, 2009 | Dennis McLellan
Frances Kavanaugh, one of the few women who wrote screenplays for B-westerns such as "Song of Old Wyoming" and "Wild West" in the 1940s and early '50s, has died. She was 93. Kavanaugh died Jan. 23 at her home in Encino after a long battle with lymphoma, said her husband, Robert L. Hecker. Between 1941 and 1951, Kavanaugh wrote more than 30 western scripts for cowboy stars such as Tom Keene, Bob Steele, Eddie Dean, Jimmy Wakely, Ken Maynard and Duncan Renaldo.
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