(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Carlos Glidden

Dude reads like a lady…

But not this dude (source)

In an interview at the Royal Geographic Society earlier this month, during which Nobel Laureate V.S. Naipaul provoked fury by suggesting that women writers are “sentimental” and “unequal to me,” he also claimed that “I read a piece of writing and within a paragraph or two I know whether it is by a woman or not.”  Can you?

Take The Guardian‘s Naipaul Test and see.

As we X ourselves Y he might say such a thing, we might recall that it was o this date in 1868 that Christopher Latham Sholes, Carlos Glidden, and Samuel W. Soule of Milwaukee, Wisconsin received a patent for an invention they called a “Type-Writer” (U.S. No. 79,265). It only had capital letters and fit in a box about 2 feet square and 6″ high.  The typists didn’t know if they were making errors because the paper, which was inside the machine, could not be seen as it was being typed.

The Sholes Type Writer (source)

Tap, tap, tap…

There’s a certain elegance in the the earliest typewriters–  all of that mechanical complexity wrestled into utility.

The first commercially successful typewriter– the “Sholes & Glidden Type Writer”– was brought to market in 1874 by Christopher Lathem Sholes, with backing from Carlos Glidden and manufacturing support by Remington & Sons.

The lure of the clear communications (and the market it could create) made possible by typewriters attracted inventors and tinkers by the dozens.  Over the next 25 years, dozens of variations were tried (e.g., curved keyboards, double keyboards, no keyboards…) were tired; but by the turn of the Twentieth Century, the basic parameters of the typewriter-as-our-parents-knew-them were settling into place.

Martin Howard is an Englishman, living in Toronto– and curating a marvelous collection of early typewriters.  (Martin came by his passion in the family way:  his dad was an academic who studied antique mechanical objects.)  Happily for those of us who share his passion, he has sublimated his collection onto the web. At Antique Typewriters: The Martin Howard Collection, one can find a veritable “Burgess Shale” of machines dating mostly from that last part of the Nineteenth Century…  machines like these:

As we limber our fingers, we might might wish an animated “Happy Birthday” to Ub Iwerks, who was born on this date in 1901.  Iwerks met Walt Disney when they were teenagers, working together at a Kansas City art studio.  Iwerks followed Disney to California, and spent most of his career as one of Disney’s lead animators (though Iwerks did do stints at MGM and Warner Bros.).

Iwerks created Disney’s first hit character, Oswald the Rabbit.  But Disney lost the rights to Universal, and had to ask Ub to go back to the drawing board.  Iwerks first came up with with a female cow (who later morphed into Clarabelle) and a male horse (who later became Horace), but Walt wanted something different.  So Iwerks created a mouse…

Ub Iwerks

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