Tuesday, March 9, 2010


The other day I watched the movie Alex & Emma with my girlfriend, when suddenly Emma, Kate Hudson acting as a stenographer for Luke Wilson (Alex), pulled out this awesome little contraption from her bag.

(What is circled in green and not being fired upon by Luke-lasers, aka Lukezers)
When I saw it, I told my girlfriend two things: "That's nifty" and "I want one now."

This may be because of my attraction to the out-but-not-outdated inventions known as typewriters. I really like them, I draw them, have headline picture-buttons with them (see above example), go Craigslist- and thrift store-hunting for them, but have yet to own one.

Seeing the obvious portability of Emma's contraption, I proceeded to look up exactly what they were. It is known as a stenotype, and is special typewriter used by special writers called stenographers.

Most stenographers are employed to take note of what happens in a courtroom or typing the font read by those hard of hearing on tv (closed captioning). Stenotypes have only a select amount of letters, and what is typed is almost in its own code. So, if I wanted to use one, I'd have to learn the whole new system.

So, I may just go back to my original idea, and buy a real typewriter. Or, I could get a stenotype and proceed to pretend to use it for stream-of-conscious typing, like Jack Kerouac did in his van (except with a real typewriter and a really, really long sheet of paper).

In the mean time, I will imagine owning a typewriter, and occasionally visiting the Back Space Typewriters Blog...

I really do love the romanticism in typing in this format. You can type the same sentence over and over, and not have it exactly the same--Due to pressure on the keys and ink on the tape.


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