London type-in no. 1

by | Jul 25, 2013 | London, Type-in | 18 comments

London Type-In no. 1

25 July 2013

It was my pleasure to meet the creative and articulate Rob Bowker in the flesh. After checking out the vintage shops of Shoreditch we headed for antiques day at Spitalfields Market. 
This booth included quite a few typewriters. The seller told us he finds them in many places and they go to many buyers, young and old, for £35-100 apiece. Today he had a Smith-Corona Corsair, a Remington Super-Riter, an Empire Aristocrat, an Olympia Splendid, and a Tippa S.
Another booth had this classic Imperial Good Companion
 (by appointment to HRH the late King George VI). Model 2?
Then it was time for a pub and a couple of pints of Timothy Taylor’s Landlord.
We each brought a shiny green ultraportable.
Rob’s Antares Parva has the nicest, glossiest finish I’ve ever seen on this model, and it can type a pilcrow (¶)!
My favorite moment came when this lad politely approached us and tried his 
hand at the Kolibri. He was a good typist, too!
And here’s the three-author text I carried away as a souvenir. 
Forgive the incoherence of my notes on Rob’s quite coherent spoken thoughts.
Rob, thanks for great conversation and a good time. I look forward to our next meeting.


  1. Peter

    English ale and typewriters?
    Heaven DOES exist.

  2. Scott K

    Ah! So, is there a beer review coming forth of that glass he's drinking?

    Looks like some great fun has been had by the two of you. And that Antares is quite a little machine!

  3. Ted

    First in with report post! :D

    It appears from the volume of writing done that there was more talking and drinking going on that typing, but clearly the magic of typewriters sucked in a new convert in Archie and perhaps one of the typewriters you guys spotted will get adopted in the coming days by a budding young typist who got his first taste of a Kolibri in a pub by a visiting Yank.

    Duly reported on type-in.org

  4. Miguel Chávez

    What a great trip! I bet the Kolibri gets a lot of attention wherever you go. Have you received any comments from passersby about the machine? What are their reactions when they see you (and hear you!) typing?

  5. Rob Bowker

    I was surprised and impressed at the nonchalance of both the bar staff and other customers. Great to meet you Richard. I do have to point out that draught and bottled Landlord are quite different beasts. Draught is infinitely subtler but doesn't lend itself as readily to reviewing as bottled beer. Environmental conitions being the principal distraction. Company. Noise. Thirst. Those kinds of thing. I'd liken typereviewing a draught ale to trying to photograph a beautiful sunset. Sometimes it is better to put down the recording instruments and just savour the moment. Until next time! And I hope London Type-Ins ll and lll produce more column inches :-)

  6. Peter

    By the way, I learned today that the paragraph symbol has a name- "pilcrow". Something I have never known before! I shall be working that term into my conversations in the next few days.

  7. Richard P

    I agree, other people didn't interfere or pay much attention — maybe that's the admirable British quality of letting eccentrics pursue their harmless eccentricities. When Archie was willing to show his curiosity, his father chimed in with some smiling recollections of typewriting.

  8. Winston

    Archie, huh? Instantly made me think of the old "Archie & Mehitabel" poetry. In fact I thought it was a reference to it until I realized it was the lad's name.


    Just realized the spelling of "Archy" is different. Still, perhaps there is a typewriter and an alley cat in the lad's future.

  9. Richard P

    Ha, you're right! That hadn't occurred to me.

    Or, of course, maybe he was writing a tribute to e. e. cummings.

  10. Bill M

    It is good to have a picture of Rob. It appears you both had a nice time at the type-in. I, like Peter, have learned something new today: the name for the paragraph symbol. If I ever knew it from the print shop from decades ago I forgot it.

  11. Ton S.

    What fun! Glad the type-in went really well and it's great to see a young volunteer typist.

    Thanks to Rob, I'm taking a second look at the Antares Parva, very nice.

  12. TonysVision

    Very enjoyable tale, which brought to live the convivial atmosphere of a British pub. We are starting to figure out how to pull that off over here in the States, but it is slow going lighting up and opening up the bars.

  13. Richard P

    That's just what I was telling Rob — there's something welcoming about a good English pub that is imitated by some US bars but rarely with success.

  14. Anonymous

    Beautiful typewriters! Love those ultra portables. I've yet to find anything like that in Kentucky.

  15. michaeliany

    Rob is probably top 10 human to have a pint with in all the world

  16. D.

    Do you know the Antares 130? How is it?

  17. Richard P

    This is a model I don't know, sorry.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


typewriter revolutionary factory logo




Dept. of Philosophy
Xavier University
3800 Victory Pkwy.
Cincinnati, OH. 45207