Monday, March 09, 2009

Hermes Baby

Making a zine is an excuse to use my Hermes Baby, the prettiest typewriter in the world. When I first learned to type nearly 30 years ago, I could touchtype on a manual typewriter. Now my fingers are weakened from decades of fluttering across computer keyboards. I no longer have the strength in any but thumb and index fingers to striking a blow that will take an impression from a faded old ribbon. The Hermes Baby reduces me to hunt and pecking.

It also does mysterious and eccentric things like occasionally, with no warning, refuse to go past the middle of the page. If I'm paying more attention to the keyboard than the paper on the platen (as I generally am with the Hermes) then I end up overtyping until there is a ragged black hole in the centre of of the page.

Its proving very difficult to get a new ribbon for the Hermes Baby. Not because its an unusual kind of spool. Unlike the pre-USB digital age of universal incompatibility, most manual typewriters all seem to be designed for the same universal ribbon spool. Its just that they aren't stocked anywhere, at least not in New Zealand.

Happy Bus (my soon-to-be-launched zine) is not entirely typewritten, otherwise publication would be a much more distant prospect than it is. The text will be a mixture of wordprocessing, typewriting and hand printing. There's a bit of paper engineering going on with it too. And these little gold elephant stickers, punched out of old labels picked up in an op shop.

Don't forget to enter this month's giveaway to win a handmade blank book. Tell me three songs that make you feel happy and you will go in the draw.


Anonymous said...

when i asked Baigents OPD if they could get me one they assured me all i had to do was tell them what type of sppol i needed and they would get Hermes Baby what ever she needed

Jane in Dunedin said...

The Happy Song thing is really hard - lots of songs that make me feel strongly and make me want to dance around and sing along but not sure if they are happy songs (eg REM's Cuyahoga). I have turned to the past and some sure fire songs that I have loved "since time immemorial"...The Kinks You really got me, the Troggs Wild Thing, the Beatles Hard Days night.....looked up heaps of songs and artists but these just stood out for me....:-) But as I won the last competition I think I should be excluded from the draw.... even though I LOVE LOVE LOVE those two books especially Yogi and his little Boo Boo

Penelope said...

I have a large supply of blank books, but not nearly enough gold elephant stickers.

Penelope said...

Oh, Happy Songs
I just took a quick spin through my ipod, and here are three that jumped out. Of course, there are lots more.
Carpenters: On Top of the World
Nina Simone singing Angel of the Morning
Miranda Lambert: Dry Town

mL said...

totally agree! i have a shocking orange hermes baby and i love it!
greetings from argentina!

Anonymous said...

hi there do you know in particular what kind of ribbon a hermes baby requires?

Meliors Simms said...

Hermes Baby uses a universal ribbon