One lever that simultaneously moved the carriage back to the furthest left position and moves on to the next line. It’s almost the equivalent of winding up a toy right before you let it move in the way that it was meant to move.
One of the biggest draws to my selecting the three typewriters that I did is their styles. Specifically, I like the differences in these levers, the curvatures, the lengths, the angles.
The Clipper’s has a sleek, skinny, and is the most curvy of the three. I like the way it curves from the carriage body outward, with the end countered upwards while also concave making it comfortable for just one finger to move the carriage.
I would describe the styling of the Olympia as a combination of efficient and sleek. My favorite part is its lever’s contour follows the shape of the upper deck, curving downwards and becoming broader at the end.
The downward curve, closer to the keys, makes it so while typing I don’t have to lift my left hand up too far to operate it, which translates to being able to move (type) through a page much quicker.
You wouldn’t think a small design decision like that would make a big difference. In fact, I probably wouldn’t notice its functional benefit if I didn’t have other return levers to compare against.
The Clover’s lever is the shortest, intentionally compact for portability. It’s angled both outwards and upwards but remains convenient and very easy to reach (use). The broad curvature at the end makes it very easy for my left hand to operate it quickly, with enough space for my pinky and ring fingers to catch it.
One of the first things that I’m drawn to when looking at different typewriters is their levers. I’m learning a lot about the overall styling and I feel like the return levers are one of the most prominent parts of their design personalities.
I am hooked on watching Kenji Lopez-Alt’s Youtube channel. He’s doing a series called “Kenji’s Home Cooking” where he uses a GoPro, worn on a head-mount to give an overhead perspective, as he cooks and narrates through the steps.
A few days ago he grilled bratwurst and sauerkraut, which inspired me to do the same. It’s been a staple of ours over the past few Summers, and it seemed like a good thing to eat on the 4th of July. His method, for me, comes out perfect each time. Here’s a link to the Serious Eats post where I originally learned about it.
A few days before the brats, he made a green chile cheeseburger that, well… as you can see above, inspired me. I have been thinking about it, craving it, ever since I saw the video.
Don’t you like that? When you see a food or dish that inspires a craving, and that craving grows and intensifies, until sometime later — but not too much later — you finally get to indulge?
When I finally get to indulge in my craving for a sane, normal world… it’s going to be AMAZING.
I picked up another typewriter. With two typewriters, I suppose I can now call myself a “collector”?
As I’m learning more about typewriters, I became curious on what a Korean typewriter looked like (with Hangul characters), and how they worked. This, as you can imagine, led me down a few rabbit holes.
I found this Clover 302 online and promptly ordered it. Admittedly, I was driven by a sense of sentimentality. One, because it was made in Korea (like me). Two because it was made around the same time as, well.. me.
Manufactured by K-Mek, the Clover 302 closely resembles the Japanese-made Silver Seikos and Royal Mercurys. This one was manufactured in Korea c.1978. It’s in great shape and came in a nice leather case.
I have had the Smith-Corona Clipper for a little over a week now. I have typed at least one page each day. As you can see, I’m still getting used to key placement and overall operation. It’s definitely a lot of fun to use. Look at those sausage fingers!
I noticed that the combination of the Clipper’s keys and my heavy-handed typing chews up the paper. I got into the habit of spooling a few sheets, behind the main sheet, to protect the paten. At least until I can train myself to be lighter on the keycaps.
Above is my birthday present to myself, a 1946 Smith-Corona Clipper. I ordered it online from someone in Tucson, AZ. It’s in pretty good working condition, though the “?” key has become disconnected— I suppose I can’t ask any questions until I can fix it.
I chose it for the classic look of the black textured paint, the round metal and glass key caps, and overall shape of the frame. The Clipper logo was a nice touch, too.
I enjoy learning about each of the Clipper’s levers, most unmarked, and their functions. There’s definite novelty in setting margins, line spacing, and key sensitivity (tension) with manual levers and other pieces of metal.
Other than the disconnected “?” key, some of the other keys stick from time to time and the platen needs some care. I also want to give it a good deep cleaning. I ordered some typewriter tools (long, skinny screwdrivers, spring hooks and such) so that I can work on it (i.e. take it apart) properly.
I suppose that the hobby “using a typewriter to write” automatically comes with another hobby, “typewriter repair”.
I did not receive any direct negative feedback for my use of the image on the blog, nor when I shared on social media but, I do want to acknowledge where the art and its message may have detracted from the main intent: to amplify the #blacklivesmatter movement.
Please click through the artist’s Instagram post (below) for her apology and explanation.
I did remove the image from Tuesday’s post but have left my original text, as that has not changed.
Learning requires that we make mistakes, and provide room for others to make them.
Believe what you believe. I only ask that you participate in conversation, not rhetoric. And a reminder— one that I need as often as any of us— conversation means listening and thinking just as much, if not more than, speaking.