Little Red Invicta

Adam & Eve Mews today is a very posh residential street, the old typewriter shop is a private residence now.
the shop in Old Town, ‘Goods Depot’ I love the Georgian postbox – still a fully functional postbox.
the typewriter in the shop some months ago
the typeface is pica -10cpi

Little blue 22

A week of cleaning and tinkering. This one stank to high heaven, as the Letteras often do. I scrubbed the case inside and out. Its case linings had come loose so this made cleaning easier and also revealed the flimsy nature of these soft cases: the linings are merely cardboard and cloth. I used stain remover made into a paste and applied with a toothbrush in small sections, allowing each cleaned part to dry off in the sun. I was worried the cardboard would disintegrate! I fixed the linings back into place with strong wood glue. Irene’s name sticker also gave me worries but actually it just peeled off easily, and the remaining gummy parts cleaned off with washing up liquid. The felt inside the base of the machine was treated to anti-bac foot spray, which neutralises the deep aroma coming from inside the typewriter.

Cleaned up and ready to go to its new home. I polished everything with Renaissance wax to finish off. The scuff on the space bar was fixed with clear lacquer.
Not forgetting the original dust cover! This also needed a careful laundering with mild shampoo. Left to dry out in the shade.

Phew!

What have we here?
Upcycle Project?!
That’s better! I gave the person at the till a quick tutorial on how to unlock the carriage and raise the return lever. Never mind about the strange word for ribbon! They were very happy to discover they had a functional machine to sell.

In which we learn from our mistakes and have some fun

This is my sled-made magnetic chess set. There’s no end to the lengths to which I will procrastinate sometimes. However it is a very useful learning tool. I can type and ponder my London opening at the same time without sending pieces flying with every carriage return.
Everyone should have this!
Well that wasn’t hard, thanks to the Repair Bible! This is the spares machine with its own original washer wedged in place between the platen and carriage hub. My machine had been fitted with a different kind of washer, of incorrect depth and diameter. The washer I found must have been dropped into the case by the mechanic… I took this nice washer and swapped it out. The two incorrect washers sort of work in the spares machine to take up the slack and stop platen jiggling.
Once you start, you can’t stop. The spares machine gets a makeover. Look at the filth on those keys! I had assumed that the white legends had been worn away by time, but no! I used eco friendly bathroom cleaner and the typewriter now smells of peaches.
Here’s those confounded fraction typeslugs again. See how ridiculously shiny they are! Highly likely to never have been used until I did a type sample!
Google does not have the answer about the five eighths keys…
Not a fan of the grey crinkle paint. Makes an interesting close up shot though. A bit like a brain coral?
Oopsie! Damage in transit. In a banana box. Hoping I can find a replacement because I’m not sure my Kintsugi kit will do the job on this.
Besties! 1941 made in USA, 1951 made in Britain.

On Safari in Hastings

In the window of the quirkiest solicitor’s offices in Hastings
This place has some nice little treasures…
The only Valentine I’ve seen in the wild
This one caught my eye through the window but a little too many squids for my pocket
So cute
And here’s another
Seemed like everywhere I looked there was another typewriter
The owner let me into the shop just as he was closing up, so there was no time to see everything in detail. Slightly regretting that half pint a few doors up the road beforehand! Oops. I will return another day for a closer look.

New Year, New Phone

Well of course! A 1960s GPO Bakelite from Brighton. Plugging it in (already converted) it received calls but could not dial out. Oh dear.
Searching for clues online, I found advice that recommended checking the wiring and a drop of light oil on the dial spindle to increase dial speed. So I took the back off to check the wiring and find the spindle…

Hmm. The wiring was correct but the whole area underneath was drenched in oil, so I dabbed up as much as I could with cotton buds and slips of newsprint, and added a new drop to the spindle nut, feeling that this was not the answer. And it was not. The dial still returned too slowly. From zero it should return while you say “one, one thousand and one” and stop on the last “one”.

Further searching (on YouTube, the Facebook telephone groups were a dead end) told me to go on in from the front. (Edit: I would have tried to do the next part from underneath but I thought I would have more space going in from the front) The newer (1070s) models make this easy. This model is tricky if it’s your first go. Just take photos at every stage and make sure you do. I did not. These are photos I took putting the phone dial back together.
Getting this enamel plate off is an absolute pain. All the chipped enamel was not my doing, wiggle the number plate off very carefully. Take photos.
Ok we are in. Don’t be intimidated. It’s just like a typewriter only with two bells.
If the dialling is too slow, you need to gently squeeze these two metal prongs, (which have weights on the ends which you can’t see. ) Then test your dial before fitting the plates back on. Plug phone back into socket. Lift receiver, turn dial mechanism while listening. On return the dial tone should disappear when your number has dialled. If not, go back and squeeze a little bit more.
Fit your paper disc in place. This is not my number, by the way, it is the original Vintage Brighton number, and I have not tested it for time travel tickets yet
All done. Thank goodness for that! Radiator cover still needs a couple more coats of paint… Bit for now, let’s have a cup of tea and a biscuit. Happy New Year, all.

P.S! this is the only phone we will be fixing on type the clouds, for this year at least. Back to typewriters now. I have a new Lettera 22 to smarten up …

120 lino prints…

being sewn into a first run of ten little books

This is tank-top guy feeling festive
This is Crow, missing her friend Tank-top guy
Sometimes when you miss someone, you just have to caw them up on the phone…
and work out how to spend time together, in a corvid safe way.