30 Jan 2014

Superior rotary printing press (with video)

Click to watch video

I found this Superior Ace printing press in unused condition; it had never been inked. Amazingly, the bottle of ink was still good! If you're older, you might remember these from your childhood as tedious, messy machines. They are both of those things. But fun anyway… W and I printed out a pair of poems that I wrote in 2012.

These weren't supplied with very many pieces of rubber type—in order to print the second poem, I had to borrow a few esses from the first, removed as you can see in the picture above. The press came with all of the original books and tools. Apparently you could order other typefaces for it…shame I can't send off for them at $1 each set today!

Sent from my Superior Ace printing press

22 Jan 2014

Origin of Royal's Vogue

Advertisement for Vogue. Oddly, only the caption for Ira Tarbell is set in Kabel.

This is a sample from the 1939 Futurama brochure by General Motors that uses Kabel.

(EDIT) I just discovered (that word again) that there is also a non-typewriter typeface called Vogue which is definitely the one Royal based their Vogue off of (surprise?). No digital version exists. Anyway, both Vogues were definitely based off of Kabel. (Ira Tarbell's caption is still Kabel though, and the body text may or may not be in Vogue.)

Read more about Kabel on Wikipedia.

Sent from my Vogue Royal Model P

18 Jan 2014

Portable typewriters of the 1920s

Royal Model OT

Underwood Standard Portable

Remington Portable 2

Corona Four

The best portable typewriter available in the late 1920s, by a narrow margin, is the Underwood Standard Portable Typewriter with Standard Four Bank Keyboard. So what is the actual model name for this thing?

Both the Royal and the Underwood are actually from the 1930s, I know…but they both could have been bought in 1929.

Sent from my Royal Model OT and my Underwood Standard Portable

14 Jan 2014

Ingliš fonetik letérset

You're hardly a tortured/misunderstood genius if you haven't devised a phonetic alphabet if your native tongue's is far from being so. Mine is far more than just an alphabet, though. I've been away from my blog for a week because for the first time in my life, I actually got the flu. By the time I'd recovered, I realized how much time I'd wasted and I worked quite enthusiastically on improving my phonetic alphabet and translating it so that it would actually work on computers. Here are some of my preliminary results.

Aa Áá Bb Dd Ee Éé Ff Gg Hh Ii Íí Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Óó Pp Rr Ss Tt Uu Úú Vv Ww Yy Ýý Zz Ðð Þþ Šš Cc Žž

I was delighted to find that many fonts supported characters such as Ýý, Ðð, Þþ, and Šš, especially my favorite, Helvetica Neue. The dictionary cover is a design I put quickly together for fun that turned out quite nicely.

(Edit) Replaced the original 7 pages with a revised, updated version with 8 pages.