Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Catch a Wave

200110817 typecast
One side-effect of finding this machine is that I'm incapable of remembering the model name properly. It is truly "Tropical" as I eventually stated. You can see it among the other Olivetti machines on Will Davis' site. Imagine the name badge says "Hermes" and you'll have it.

Also, this typecast topic got away from one of my original points, which was the documentary being filmed right now by the crew from LA. After some back-and-forth trying to get me to find a location, we met last week in a local used-book store, and I managed to sweat and mumble my way through a series of innocuous but otherwise mind-blanking questions ("What's your name, and what do you do" and "What's your first memory of a typewriter.") If I make it into the final product at all, it will be a testament to their editing skills. I know that folks at the L.A. and Phoenix type-ins met Gary and Chris and praised them for their professionalism and unobtrusiveness. They were particularly patient with me the entire time, despite me trying (and failing) to not stare at the one customer who hung out and watched the first half hour of the interview.

True to form, I managed to not even think to grab a crappy cell-phone photo of the experience. If you happen to get contacted by these guys, please do your best to be courteous and polite to them, so they can get some usable quotes out of the experience. And pick someplace air-conditioned, so you don't look like Nixon sweating his way through a debate.

Typed on "Lennon", a 1972 Hermes 3000 with only a slightly confused heritage
"Lennon", Hermes 3000, c 1972


notagain said...

The place with the bins, they say, is where things go when they don't sell. So, similar issue, wherever they've been they haven't sold.
The Tropical was mentioned when I got the Sears by Silver-Seiko (which, by the way, I'm trying to give away. I will gladly scrawl "Hermes" on it for you heh heh)

notagain said...

But to address your question, I think we have some impact. People think of typewriters, maybe they see a particular one they want and to get THAT ONE they pay a premium, where we take potluck on the cheap. Adding up all my purchases I've coughed up a lot of $ before landing my Lettera, so it could be said I paid a premium in installments...

Richard P said...

There seem to be lots of typewriter grabbers out there, lurkers who don't participate in the typosphere or otherwise announce themselves, but who will pick up a typewriter or two, snatching it from under our noses.


Cameron said...

For risk of sounding like a broken record, as I've mentioned this before in comments on various blogs in the typosphere: I believe that the recent media exposure of typewriters is having an effect on prices. The March article in the NYTimes is an example.

In fact, it was this very article which rekindled my long-time interest in typewriters:

mpclemens said...

And who does the NY Times piece cite?

Many of the folks in the typosphere. We may not be the only cause, but I can't help think that we're victims of our own success here.

Duffy Moon said...

Too much good press for our own good?

Only one thing can rectify this.

I'd like to state now, publicly, that I got herpes from a typewriter. Pass it on.

(word verif = "zookets". Gad-zookets, this cold sore hurts!)

Adwoa said...

I don't suppose this is your fabled Hermes Tropical:

If indeed it is one and the same, then your theory is 100% right! Amazing!

mpclemens said...

That's the one, Adwoa, though I doubt the example I found traveled all the way overseas before showing up on eBay. Currency conversion shows this is listed at $71 US, which is probably about ten times what I would consider it to actually be worth.

Adwoa said...

Oops - the link showed up like that because I was looking at it from my local eBay. It IS listed in the United States; in fact, the seller lives in Antioch, California. I'm assuming that's not far from you?

So, indeed, it could be the very same one!

mpclemens said...

Then yes, it is the same one. Bad news for the buyer, then -- the carriage wasn't working well.