Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Beginner's Guide to Typewriters PART I

hello this is a guide
In the midst of metaphysical poetry and angular acceleration, my dad found me a typewriter! He found it at a thrift store for $20 which is a very good deal! I immediately fell in love with Ollie. It was a needed distraction from all the college apps, activities, and school work that have surrounded me in the past few months. It's nice to take a break from everything once in a while and just type away in an old fashioned manner. Typing on a typewriter is not really productive or effective but it's beautiful and relaxing. It's quite loud though beware. I love typing when I have time and somehow that ends up being around 12 am.. my dad thought I was chopping wood...... so yeah, you are warned! I have gotten better at typing though :) it's all practice and dedication! I introduced Ollie briefly in another post but I'm really learning how to embrace my inner hipster and use a typewriter. I have somehow become a quality hipster over the years? I love anything slightly artsy ("artsy") and vintage. The 60s were impeccable in style (Moonrise Kingdom anyone?) and I hope to design my house like that one day. I love indie music and flea markets/farmer's markets. Mason jars are my obsession. Typing on a typewriter been a huge learning process and I'm still learning new things :) Patience is definitely a virtue. I have a couple practically tips so come along with me!

1. Ribbon time! 
Typewriters use ink called ribbon. The ribbon is the black strip connected to the round spools, for lack of better word. Ribbon costs about $8 on Amazon (I don't know where you'd get it in person) and it's just like polaroid film (if you are in your teens and have a typewriter in this day and age ... well you probably have a film camera too..). Ribbon is really annoying sometimes. It doesn't stay still and falls out. I've had ink all over my fingers before because of that darn ribbon!. Make sure you put it in all the little clips. Being restricted by ribbon really makes you think about the words you're typing out. I'm so guilty of writing whatever I want but on Ollie, I'm very careful. Writing on a typewriter is truly an experience!
Here is a really indepth guide to putting in the ribbon. Make sure you slide it through all the little hooks so that it stays in place better. Don't be afraid to get some ink on your fingers (and face and clothes and everything). 

2. Paper...
Once you've properly inserted your ribbon (just plunk the spools onto the correct place), it's time to insert paper. It's so hard to put paper in typewriters.... For my typewriter (Royal Signet), you put the paper between the metal ledge and roll like thing. Makes sure that metal clip with all the red measurement lines is up. You have to manually push it down until it comes out the other side. The longer side of the paper (not immediately written on) should not be clipped under the metal part.

3. Now you're ready to type! 
Typing is a very fun process :) Just make sure you don't type too fast... like on a regular computer. The keys can get jammed with each other. (There is a cover for Ollie.. I just find it easier to adjust the ribbon (sometimes the ribbon falls out) and type without it though. Make sure you press the key hard enough so that it can hit the ribbon and leave the imprint on your paper!

See I told you it had a cover..
Typewriters are truly awesome inventions and I couldn't be happier that I have one in my own house! Good luck using yours :) If you have any other questions and inquiries feel free to post a commenta and I'll be sure to answer it to my best capability. I am still a beginner myself so these are 3 things I've learned!

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