A Royal Writing Machine

The oil cans I posted yesterday were from a friend’s house in Maine.   She is a brilliant scholar in her eighties (a former professor of my partner) who lives on a sheep farm in a wonderful old house where she spends her days with piles of books and journals and newspapers spread all around her.   There are visual treasures all over her house, and I couldn’t help but photograph a few while I was there.

In her attic, where my little one discovered  (with permission, of course) trunks of beautiful old dolls with stunning handmade dresses and a magnificent dollhouse, we happened upon this fabulous  piece. Despite being a technophile, I am always overcome with nostalgia at the sight of a manual machine like this one.  The photos are fuzzy.  There was very little light in the attic, and I did not shoot with a flash.  I think the graininess of the images captures something of the atmosphere of the old farmhouse attic.





28 responses

  1. Sounds like your daughter (and you) found a real treasure-filled attic in Maine! I love old manual typewriters; I have my Mother’s old manual and in fact started writing my first book some years ago using it – pounding away on the keys day after day. No doubt as a photographer you had a ball snapping photos in that magical attic. Black and white works so well for old treasures……

    Pam (and Sam)

    August 7, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    • Yes, we did have a wonderful time. It is such a beautiful farm. There are sheep and an old rescue donkey (32-years-old) there, and lots and lots of beautiful flowers. But you’re right, I had a fabulous time in that attic. Such treasures! How wonderful that you used your mother’s manual typewriter to start writing your first book. Hugs to Sammy. I’ll be replying soon to your very moving comment the other day on my other blog… I was in tears! Your support means so much to me.

      August 13, 2012 at 1:25 pm

  2. Fantastic photos! I love the addition of the grain, it adds to the aged feel.

    August 7, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    • Thank you, Melanie! I appreciate your comment. I’m behind in my visits and in blogging all together, but look forward to catching up on your posts soon!

      August 13, 2012 at 1:26 pm

  3. Wao ! I like it 🙂
    In my collection of junk, I got an old typewriter but not as old as this.
    I think it isn’t a nostalgia as I never used, but more of the wonder
    towards the craftsmanship who designed and made it.
    —– it seems, the machine carries the old soul of the man who made it.
    Your grainy image reflecting it.

    August 7, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    • I’m glad you like this one, yoshizen. Yes, the craftsmanship of these old machines is wonderful. I like your thought about the machine carrying the old soul of the maker.

      August 13, 2012 at 1:28 pm

  4. myfullresearch

    A veeeery satisfactory layer !
    Weird solution indeed.

    August 7, 2012 at 7:43 pm

  5. Love the grainy vintage feel of these!

    August 7, 2012 at 7:59 pm

  6. Lemony, great shots! I have a typewriter exactly like this but I don’t use it any more.

    August 7, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    • Thank you, Miss Maura. I’d be curious what it’d feel like to type on a machine like this these days. We’re also so used to the easy flow of our keyboards now. You should get yours out and give it a go! 🙂

      August 13, 2012 at 1:31 pm

  7. My first typewriter looked just this one. Ah the days of ribbons, white-out and carbon paper! Nice shots!

    August 7, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    • I was just saying to Miss Maura, another blogger here who also has this same typewriter, that it would be interesting to get that typewriter out (she still has hers!) and see what it feels like to type on it, now that we’re all so used to our easy-breezy keyboards. 🙂

      August 13, 2012 at 1:33 pm

  8. What year was the typewriter made? I would have been in high school between 1956-1960. I know we used manual typewriters, but I think this one is too early for my learning to type. I had a portable manual Royal in college. I like these photographs. So much more effective with the grain. An Andy Rooney typewriter! 🙂 (Using Peaches to gain access, huh? Ha Ha) Give us the dolls!

    August 7, 2012 at 11:46 pm

  9. No, I believe Andy’s was an Underwood … now that I think about it. Yes. While I had this tab open, I Googled it and found that I was correct. I knew the typewriter would be an iconic symbol of Andy.

    “The Underwood manual typewriter that the late CBS newsman Andy Rooney used at home went on sale this weekend in Norwalk, Connecticut. The buyer was Steve Soboroff, whose collection we’ve noted here before. The Underwood is said to date from about 1923, and a companion model from Rooney’s CBS office is reportedly headed to the Smithsonian. The four-day estate sale at Rooney’s home drew hundreds of people.”

    August 8, 2012 at 1:11 am

  10. I used to have one very similar to that one.

    August 8, 2012 at 3:03 pm

  11. The first (the fuzziest) is my favorite, Melanie. It’s so magical to be granted a glimpse back into a past world. I could spend a week in a room like that.

    August 10, 2012 at 3:08 am

  12. Lovely,
    a real antique beauty

    August 11, 2012 at 6:02 pm

  13. I think the grain is really fascinating in these shots, makes them very interesting.

    August 12, 2012 at 6:43 am

  14. elmediat

    These are great ! Your processing hit the right emotional key. As uncomfortable as we would really be if we were forced to live in the past, artifacts and images such as these call up a powerful longing & fascination, even if they call up a time & place we never lived. Perhaps that is where reincarnation comes in or parallel universes, …….or just the imagination. 🙂

    August 14, 2012 at 2:20 am

  15. The grain fits these shots especially great. The top one is my fav.

    August 19, 2012 at 4:50 am

    • Thanks! I like that top shot, too… I almost posted that one just by itself without the others.

      August 20, 2012 at 1:27 pm

  16. Fantastic shots

    August 26, 2012 at 8:03 am

  17. Awesome awesome photo set! I have an antique typewriter collection so this just made my night – thanks!

    August 28, 2012 at 4:13 am

    • Wow, that’s so fun! The idea of your antique typewriter collection. Cool!

      September 1, 2012 at 1:52 am

  18. I like the graininess, it enhances the nostalgia.

    August 29, 2012 at 12:32 pm

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