Sunday, October 20, 2013

Touch typing practice without a typewriter

Economizing - get up to proper typing-speed before using a machine proper. A low cost way to get practice on a keyboard, from a late 30-ies article in a magazine. Forgot to write down which when I snapped the snippet, probably Popular Science. I'd stored this a while back, now finally getting round to posting after being triggered by a recent post by Mark Adams about the Tuch-Rite method.

The image of the machine is definitely suggesting a particular brand/type of machine. No mention of it in the caption, but suggests this might be from or sponsored by this particular manufacturer.

Actually it is a rather fitting image, this practice board would definitely be noiseless.

Digging around a bit more (the internet is an amazing source of trivia), first ran across an advert from 1951 for the courses of ICS, with a special caption for the Tuch-Rite method to learn touch-typing in just one day. The 'new method' still showing a noiseless picture on it's patented practice keyboard. At $25, less low-cost than I had expected! (Though in a '58 classified it is offered at $4.95 by the Tuch-Rite company of Philadelphia and in a '41 ad even for $2 (instruction book included).)

This contains the information that the unique keyboard is patented; and indeed it is. Already published in 1938 is US patent number 2,141,747 for an "Educational appliance", invented by Philip S. Gross. The publication date of the patent fits with the first article from the late 30-ies, it would have been publicized around then.

Turns out there was a book made of this method, authored by Irene A. White and Philips S. Gross published in 1953 called "Tuch-Rite Methods". Additionally the method was sold as a record with the patented keyboard included to practice with. Actually it is already being advertised with a record to listen/type/learn in 1947.

There is then also at long last a hint of a link with Remington, as some Remington branded Tuch-Rite courses (records) show up for sale on auction sites. Advertisements from the early 60-ies indeed show the Tuch-Rite course being bundled free with the purchase of a new portable.

Odd in a way, with the teaching method choosing the Remington Noiseless image at launch (not the most generic image they could have used). Add to that the odd spelling of 'rite' and compounding it with 'tuch'; was Remington in any way involved at the time? Were they inspired by this zippy new spelling by Mr Gross c.s. when naming their 'riter' machines?

Later records however show only the Tuch-Rite branding and an updated, more modern typewriter image being used (On the table a large Royal?).

Even though there isn't a lot of recent, modern information on this cardboard keyboard to learn touch-typing, there seems to be still a "Tuch-Rite Methods Inc" company in PA; listed as active since 1952.

Distracting, this internet...

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Changing case

Now that I'd got the gramophone pretty much working, I set out to get some period records to go with it. With one set that I bought came a small record carrying case for 10" records.

Like many cases of the 30-ies it is made of thick cardboard covered with 'rexine' or 'leatherette'. The fittings look quite good in the picture, but in reality are rather corroded. The picture above shows the little case after receiving a first 'typewriter case treatment'. Useful skills are gotten from tinkering with typewriters, these can be applied across categories :)

Many such cases I guess were sold for storing your records. This one was however sold as packaging of a language course. The Linguaphone company sold record-based language courses in such carrying cases - in this case an English course in two cases even (that is a lot of records!). The language course records of this one were probably lost and destroyed decades ago - these sets do regularly show up on the local auction site complete though. Not rare at all. (The Linguaphone company also sold their own brand of gramophone - advertised as ideal for clear reproduction of the spoken word as well as for music. Company still extant actually.)

Not being rare, I had no qualms in replacing the now-useless index sheet on the inside of the lid with a generic index sheet. In the 'general purpose' carrying cases I've seen, the inside of the lid has such sheets with varying amounts of ornamentation. This allowed for writing in an index to the records in the case.

The new blank index sheet tries to stay with the style of the original, using the little stars as random decoration and of course using a Gill Sans typeface. So now a re-purposed carrying case for some of the new 10" records:

(After taking the picture I spotted the glue had let go in some spots, since fixed.)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Another case

Another little black carrying case.

New acquisition.
Not a typewriter.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

A next step

When I saw them for the first time in Mr Polt's post, I was surprised. These were new to me.

Just now I spotted one overhere as well. When doing a casual browse on the local auction site with the usual keywords this 'typewriter antique miniature' came up.

Looking at the keyboard; the progressive degradation as predicted seems to be indeed happening. A next step in the process?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Supplies still available

The tins arrived by mail. The padded envelope with a confusingly colorful assortment of stamps; some are 1990-ies, but the red stamps are Queen Juliana stamps from the seventies at the latest. Were the needle tins posted through some kind of timewarp? Is there a wormhole to supplies for old stuff? A post by Spider explained and resolved this little mystery :)

The tin with paper inlay. Echoes of the 30-ies when there would be e.g. an instruction to use only this brand of needles and only once!

(Now to play!)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Typewriters are tiny

Typewriters are tiny. Really very modest toys to tinker with.

And in these wired times also the fĂȘte has its own webpage: Has some pictures (check out the set 'optocht', the top-left set).