Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Clickthing Clear-Out: "The Rules," such as they are

The Issue at Hand 

In case you missed it, limited storage space and a rare burst of common sense has me paring down a lot of my machines. My first pass is to try and get them into Typospherian homes, since I have a number of keychopper-tempting machines that I'd rather see used than turned into a bracelet. I'm funny like that.

So, I've spent the week pulling together most -- not all, mind you, just most -- of the machines into one place, so I can do a proper inventory.

Conclusion: I'm about three cases away from my own Very Special Episode of a hoarding show:

The Pile
Not shown: a few more portables, and the standards. Egad.

What started out as a means to acquire a useful writing machine-and-spares has turned into a space-consuming bad habit.

Confidential to Messrs. Seaver, Polt, and Messenger: I know that this is a typical weekend haul for you gentlemen. For our tiny little ranch home, though, it's a blight.

Next step: catalog everything

So my next task is a proper inventory. I've already decided that the machines will be grouped and priced according to size.
  • travel typers
  • portables
  • semi-portables
  • standards

I need to get an inventory of the machines, and for that I'll note:
  • Make and model
  • Serial number and my guess at year (per Ted's expanding serial number database)
  • Type size and style, most are just a plain Roman-type face
  • If anyone has been promised particular machine, including me :-)
UPDATE: the available inventory is online in a dedicated page.
All of the machines I'm planning to ship out are in typing shape, although I know of a few hiccups here and there. Serious repair cases (the Underwood Noiseless, for example) are staying put. And of course, I have favorites, too.

Once I get the catalog in place, I'll get it published here and we'll move ahead.

After that: adoption

My #1 goal is the safe and swift placement of these machines into new homes. I'm generally doing a first-come, first-served approach, but I do prefer local pickups if it can be managed, and shorter shipment versus longer transit if not. I'm going out-of-pocket for packing supplies, so the less the kind folks at the UPS store need to see me, the better.

Again, shipping will not be cheap. I'm a student of the schools of Double-Boxing and Over-Packing, and know that a case is not protection against transit. Please budget accordingly. I'm happy to work out payment-by-installment with you if you're a Typospherian in good standing. We'll get it sorted out.

PayPal is gladly accepted here at Clickthing Typewriter Closeouts, and we thank you for finding loving (?) homes to these fine machines, and for staving off both divorce proceedings* or paramedics finding me crushed under the Smith-Corona section after the next earthquake.**

* Kidding: Mrs. Click has been very supportive, as long as she stays off the porch and doesn't count the cases

** Not entirely kidding

Bonus Micro-Blog: Typewriter jewelry I can get behind

Not the key-based sort, of course, but this stuff: card-catalog jewelry. The specific one I linked to claims to be a men's necklace, which, I dunno, maybe? Cufflinks seems like a more natural "men's" category to me, though I guess each is necessarily a one-off unless the library had two copies of the book.

But does the product need to be authentic? A clever typewriter-owner could make a quick trip to the library with some tea-stained cardstock and churn out the raw materials for hundreds of these things until they were chucked out for the racket. Got a favorite book? Bang out a pseudo library-card or two and turn them into some retro-reader-chic fashion.

Perhaps one of the more artistically-minded members of the 'Sphere can roll up a "typer-safe" logo for Etsy sellers, in the same way the tuna industry proclaims "dolphin-safe" products. Now's the time to capitalize on the goodwill from the documentary and promote a little typewriter justice. Down with poached keys! Up with harmless re-purposing!


Richard P said...

"Typer-safe" -- I like that!

I had no idea about card catalogue jewelry. This would also bring sadness to the hearts of some, actually. Nicholson Baker published a lament for the destruction of card catalogues a while back.

Ted said...

Hey, don't forget to take pics and get type samples before you send them all away - you can keep your collection in the Typewriter Database forever! (:

Ted said...

oh, especially that documented-date Lettera 32! we have a big hole in L32 numbers between 74-77, and every documented-date machine for that time period is valuable for estimating the range and completing the list (:

LeeAnna Estein said...

I would take one off your hands, but my husband is already upset at the seven in my office. It's sad, because I could do local pick up. Sorry. Hope they find nice homes.

EMackk said...

I do make cuff links - and tie tacks. And yes, each cuff link is a one off - but the authentic vintage nature of the cards (and the fact that they come with your order so you can see what books you are wearing) is what makes them fun. As a librarian - I thought it a shame when my institution started tossing these cards in the trash, as you say - they do represent several cataloging librarian's life's work - so I saved thousands in boxes. I think my jewelry is a fun way to celebrate these cards, instead of seeing them go into the trash, or sit in my home in boxes in the closet. Now lots of people get to remember their dusty smell, and the treasure hunt that was using a card catalog.

Ted said...

How's this?
Typosphere Approved "Typewriter Safe Product"?

Ted said...

try that again: with the "http://" part added.

natslaptaps said...

Can't wait to see what you have!
If you're willing to send some away away on a big adventure, I'd love to have one or two :p

Jose Olmo said...

It's sad but hopefully you will find good homes for them. Here at Bronx Typewriters we have some room.