Historical Context…

Historical ContextAll of This Belongs to You, V&A Museum London SW7, 1st April to 19th July 2015

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Corona key lever springs fix

corona fix tools
five came out, two left here. The kirby grip was quite useful too.

I was lucky not to lose any of these little beggars in the carpet. Five key lever springs just decided to hop out. The key tops sagging in a lacklustre way alerted me to this unexpected bit of tweezering. Many bad words were spoken, as time and again over about 45 minutes, the spring was fixed at one end, and then came off. What to do but put on some lipstick and fix myself a gin and tonic without the gin before having another go.

It really IS amazing

empty spring hole. The plate over the top rows of keys had to come off to gain easier access.
empty spring hole. The plate under the top rows of keys had to come off to gain easier access.
depress affected key to get the spring back into the hole on the lever. Easier said than done!
depress affected key to get the spring back into the hole on the lever. Easier said than done!

This was really awkward, as the typewriter had to be continually upended and then put right way up to faff about with the springs.

All back in place with plate fixed back. Easier to get the plate back on than off.
All back in place with plate fixed back. Easier to get the plate back on than off.

Bingo. Very satisfying. I did think I was going to have to take it on a train journey to see the repair shop just over the county border. Having small hands definitely helped. But you need patience with these things, as you all know.

My tool kit contains a basic set of screwdrivers, a few old toothbrushes, a pair of scissors, pliers, and whatever I can find in my makeup bag. You don’t need much for an emergency fix, but I’m very glad I can take my typewriters for a train ride if I have to.

Wee sleekit, grubby beastie

poem final cutWell, I’m not sure what Rabbie Burns would’ve made of the invention of the typewriter. I like to think he might have seen it as a Peoples’ Portable Printing Press.

“To a Mouse” by the great Scottish Bard has always been a favourite of mine, and I must apologise for nicking one of his best lines ever, but it was for a good cause! I had my own Scot go over the phrasing, and he suggested the “Howts!” which I like much better than my Too-English “BUT!” that it replaced.