Brisbane Hours 1-12

Hour 1 to 3

Getting off the plane was so good.
The sky was cloudy but the sun shone through and the air smelt different but good. Brisbane reminded me of Melbourne and Perth, and had a interesting mix of both. Oh, did I mention it was my first time in Brisbane?

Shuffling my hand luggage around I made a mad dash for the gate exit.
It wasn’t long till I spotted Scott K and “OH-IT’S-YOU!” exchanges he swept me away to proper typewriter hunting.


Brisbane CBD


What seemed to be a very tall and steep highway on a cloudy day

First stop: Woolloongabba Antique Centre.

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There was a whole heap of vintage and vintage styled items, many of which if I hadn’t had any self control or determination, would have somehow made its way with me to Darwin.
We spotted quite a few typewriters there, perhaps 10 or so, but none came home with us.

It was a sad that the first typewriter thing I saw was this:


The typewriters we did see:




IMG_0153 IMG_0154 IMG_0155

Hour 4 to 6

Scott took me to a nice cafe for lunch, the suburb name I am forgetting already! I think it was called New Foundland or something (sorry Scott!) Remembering what my colleague had said about cafe standards, I went for the eggs Benedict on wholemeal bread. It was very yummy, and I nearly didn’t finish it all.

We then made our way to Paddington Antiques — an ex theater made into an antiques place. We didn’t spend too long there and we only found a lonely Halda standard priced at $200+. Uh, no thanks mate.


Original mouldings grace Paddington.


After Paddington Scott had to stop by a servo to top the tank up.
There was a very large column of smoke just dancing in the afternoon sky. Scott and I couldn’t quite figure out what was happening, but a big something-something was on fire… and had been burning for the last two hours or so according to the servo folk. Later on we found out that it was a grassy floodplain that had caught on fire, probably due to someone tossing a lit cigarette to the dry grass.

Scott was very kind and generous to invite me to his home. His collection is something to drool after, and Scott was very kind to let me dribble over a few of them:


It was like being on that Oscar’s set full of typewriters!


Obligatory picture with the Art-Deco Lady Lamp.


We spent some time comparing the innards of the two machines and concluded that my green Adler was later made, and is it’s original birthday suit.


View from the couch where I had a quick nap.

Hour 7 to 13

Scott had arranged for Burrito dinner with Steve Snow and took two typewriters along for the night. I didn’t have much to do with Steve before, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect. It was pleasant surprise when he rocked up with a ready smile and stories to tell!

Dinner was done and dusted quickly – the mini beef burrito I had was delicious, and I think might have been the first proper burrito I have ever had with black beans, brown rice and guacamole.
It had started to get quite windy too which was something I did not expect. I have a pull over in most of the pictures, how embarrassing and how Darwinite of me!

Ummm, yeah. Scrap that, it was typewriter time!


Scott K and his Adler Tippa in fancy dancy suitcase case.


Steve Snow and a Aristocrat Baby (right?)

It was barely 5 minutes into taking the typewriters out of their cases people around us were talking/loudly whispering about typewriters (pffft or oh wows) and how “cool” it was to have one. Steve had started writing up about the beer he was having for dinner and then we were basically inundated by a very excitable 8 year old. It was heaps awesome she was so interested in the typewriter and chatted non-stop about it. She, her two siblings and us oldies had little typing competitions to see who could reach the bell first and little spelling bee’s. Very fun.

This little girl looked at me grinning like a kid in a candy store.

I offered to type her a little story and she just beamed like the Bat Signal.
“Write me a story of an elephant! AND A KANGAROO! Yes a kangaroo!!!”


Scott wrote her a little thing about a shark and whale.


With her little trophies at hand and telling her parents that she would take it to her show and tell we said goodbyes to the children and left the burrito place, feeling totally chuffed to be the “Cool Typewriter People”, and headed for Coot-tha.


My phone does absolutely no justice whatsoever to the vastness of Brisbane city up on Coot-tha. There was a cool glow of the city and outlines of homes and tall buildings. The sky had little light pollution and shone stars like a champ.
I’ve never seen a combination quite like this before.
It was pretty high up on a hill so it was quite cold. The guys had ice creams (?!) while I tried my very best not to fail and freeze in the cold with my little takeaway cup of hot chocolate… and just stared out into the beautiful sight laid before us.

Steve Snow then invited us for a cuppa at his home, and showed us his collection in a mini type-out on his patio. I don’t have many pictures, but he has a really cool collection and we chatted about purchases, fixes and all sort of typewriter stuff.


I’ve almost laid hands on all colours of the Corona 4’s, this blue one just ticked one off the list. More about Corona 4’s in another post to come.


*Sigh* I felt like a magpie around this piece. Typing on a Noiseless was very different too. I wasn’t quite used to the “tumfff” sounds it made instead of the usual “THWACK”.

12 hours in Brisbane already and I felt incredibly spoilt.
What next of the remaining 10 or so hours Brisbane?

Singapore 2013 – CSHH

This could count as my first typewriter date! J and I hopped to Chye Seng Huat Hardware for a nice breakfast. It’s a very quaint place, and I do love the industrial interior design feel. The middle island is also a brilliant idea. Apparently they have great coffee, though I can’t comment about it because I don’t drink coffee. They have a great hot chocolate though! :p



Orange friands, scone, hot chocolate and J’s cuppa.


J’s trio of meats platter.

We scoffed our food  then whipped out the typewriters!
I brought my Adler and J brought along her beautiful Underwood Quiet Tab (called Skipper), and I had some quality one-on-one time with it. Now I want one, darn it.
The Underwood Quiet Tab is so handsome in the tux and the paper feed holders look like antlers on a stag beetle. The type feel exudes assurance and is oh-so-smooth like sliding along the floor on smooth peanut butter. Weird, I know.


The handsome un’s.


A couple of people asked us about the typewriters and had a go at typing


I really do love the pot like font and the slight curl in the numerals.


CSHH has cool stores in the immediate area – there’s a room right next door that sells coffee, a Roastary where they roast the beans (I think I’ve just made that term up!) and an art space upstairs!


I had a nice chat to this fella from Melbourne in the coffee shop!


The machines in the roasting place made me happy and sad. At that point I remember wanting to go home and clean my Adler up.




We didn’t stay too long as I had to run off to meet another group of people and drop off the Adler at the hotel at we were staying at. It was a brief meeting but it was SO GOOD — many thanks J! ^_^
It was like a little window into what the Brisbane Type-In will be like, can’t wait!


Very excited me. Yup.

Presents for the Typosphere!

Well, it’s not really presents but I think it’s pretty handy — User Manuals!
Here’s scans of 8 original user manuals I’ve managed to get, with web friendly versions available. If you’re using this other than personal use please credit it back to this blog, I’ll really appreciate it.
Click on the pictures for the direct links!

User manuals as listed:

  • Oliver Courier Portable
  • LC Smith & Corona Portable 4
  • Underwood 18
  • Olympia SF De Luxe
  • Olivetti Lettera 22
  • Royal 240, Sprite
  • Sperry Rand Remington, various later made models.
  • Olivetti Valentine



Oliver Courier SCP4

Underwood18 Olympia SF Olivetti L22

Royal 240 RSR Olivetti Valentine



Oliver Courier SCP4

Underwood18 Olympia SF Olivetti L22

Royal 240 RSR Olivetti Valentine


What the heck


What the heck.

I don’t know what to think of it. GAH :(

With this said:

Finally, and a Thank You



I finally got around on Monday to re-arrange my repair shelf and boxed up things and made two shelves free for WIP pieces. (Darn this nasty habit of doing things half-way and leaving it open) The husband is happy, and the pieces aren’t exposed to the spiders and dust bunnies looking for homes!

Currently on the shelf there’s a Olivetti Lettera 82 that is into its fourth month of being left open. I’ve finally ordered the supplies I require to finish this piece and given it a well deserved dunk and soak in the sink, so hopefully in time the finished piece will be worth the procrastination. The Tom Thumb toy typewriter also got a thorough clean.
Nightfall came and I decided to tackle that Remington Envoy III. The ribbon vibrator had ceased to function and had a few other minor problems… I had a problem of taking the body apart for some reason and left it with the other machines in the pile. I wrote about this awhile ago here. (oh man, that was almost two months ago. Meeeeep sorry K!)
Scott you were right, the top half did come off and BAM, I was in.
The outer body went straight to the sink for a scrub and the innards got a good scrub which righted the ribbon vibrator.


Sparkly clean and back with its owner now, hooray!
(+10 XP!)





Today: I think it was the rediscovered courage from this week’s fixings that I dared to open this Underwood 3 bank Portable up.
The escapement choked there for some reason, and all it needed is a little bit of lube and coaxing and it was flying again.


When I first received Tryp I thought the serial number was 8238 (which I can’t find now) and then I found this on the underside of the machine. Either numbers put Tryp in 1920 – 1921 (according to the awesome Typewriter Database that Ted has worked tiredlessly to put together, thanks Ted! :)) which makes her a rather grand ole’ machine.

She’s not 100% yet, the return carriage lever is not really working and there’s a persistent squeak in the carriage lift. I have yet to find some cleaner wax either, so that’s that to do still… and polish all the chrome.

After I packed Tryp away I had a small revelation:
Sure it took me a whole year to get her going, but oh wow… It’s been an awesome year and a bit learning how to repair typewriters. There’s heaps more to learn, and I can’t wait. I’ve only come this far because of the Typosphere – so THANK YOU TYPOSPHERE for being so darned awesome in offering help and teaching me all the how-to’s!

Alrighty, time to get going on those letters. I start my new job tomorrow, so I don’t have as much time as I thought I would have to tend to the pile. There’s more letters and cards to be made too, September is a black hole for birthdays – it’s all so bizarre.

Have a great week everyone :)
Partially written on a Underwood 3 bank Portable that is learning how to live again.