Reflections on a Voss

by | Sep 16, 2012 | silver surfer, Voss | 21 comments


  1. Mark

    Simply stunning! I have always loved Voss spacebars, such a neat idea. It was a good day for porch typing!

  2. shordzi

    What a nice type-out. Voss are amongst my favourites, too. They do have something "noble" to them, yet their design is incredibly stylish.

  3. Scott K

    OH! Shiny…. And a very interesting looking machine too! The machine looks very industrial, and has an air about it that it could deal with a submarine torpedo.

  4. notagain

    I didn't know Delorean made typewriters! Also, a typewriter without cat hair hasn't been in a sufficiently literary environment. Let the cats sleep on them!

  5. Aye

    How about giving the Voss Privat with script typeface a spin?
    Would love to see that!

  6. A.R.M.S.

    Ooooooh…that is an amazing looking machine! Did you strip paint off to get that effect or were they produced that way? Stunning! Very nice typeface, too.

  7. Ton S.

    "Robust and beefy" is an accurate description for Voss, the antithesis of the sophisticated, graceful lines of Olivetti. In a good way, of course.

    Oh yeah, cat hair, I've tasted them. ( :

  8. Miguel Chávez

    I haven't had cat hair issues with my typers, but being myself a bird lover, I constantly find tiny bits of fluff all over the place (gotta love budgies, though; they're very talkative and fun to watch).

    This just reminded me that I have to give my typers a good workout; I've been too busy with other things as of late. Maybe it's time to take the Oliver from the shelf and start typing… after all, "it's a dark and stormy night…" down here.

  9. Adwoa

    Penelope and Sunset sound like characters! I would love to hear more about their feud – Sunset is coming off as a bit of a bully here, but surely there is more to the story…

    The light on your porch really shows off the Voss well!

    Good luck with those mosquitoes – I had a bear of a time with them in Milan (where it is still full summer), but fortunately they don't seem to be carrying anything malicious (keep having flashbacks of being ill with malaria). Whew.

  10. rn

    Richard: Fabulous machine. I'd bet taking the Voss for some air in Cincy would be exciting to lots of people. Typing and Skyline Chili 5-way sounds like a great combo.

    I was in the streets in New York City this weekend (in recognition of Occupy Wall Street's one-year anniversary) with a bunch of machines. There's a photo here of people thinking and banging away — http://media.oregonlive.com/oregonian/photo/2012/09/11576295-standard.jpg — and you can see a 1935 Rem 5, a 1937 Patria (with a Czech keyboard), 1931 Royal (with Vogue typeface), a 1940 Erika 5 (with Polish letters), and a 1921 Underwood 3-bank portable. Out of focus, and mostly out of the frame, at the far end of the row is an early 70s Antares Parva. Everyone absolutely loved the machines and, in the course of two days, about 180 people used them to write their own stories.

    Interestingly, though typewriters definitely benefit from regular use, I've also discovered that heavy public use can bring on problems. The Rem shed an interesting looking large screw, and I'll have to see if I can figure out where it came from. Didn't seem to impact its workaholic spirit, though. The Erika dropped both the screws that hold the paper support on the back of the carriage. And an Olivetti Dora with a Spanish keyboard that I was using on Saturday suffered an escapement meltdown that will require advanced therapy. I swapped it out for the Underwood, and by adding 5 decades in age, I got a more robust and energetic typer.

    One other thing I noticed: people used the different machines differently. The Patria and the Underwood seemed to provoke concentrated and lengthy musings. The Antares inspired shorter and more breezy texts. While the Royal–perhaps because of the sans serif typeface–evoked precision and a strange and deviant desire to correct all typos and spelling errors.

  11. Richard P

    What a great scene! Thanks for sharing this.

  12. L Casey

    I have been lusting after Voss's for a while now, but they command such a high price! Probably because they are just so neat. Yours is stunning.

  13. JP H.

    Richard, I love your silver surfer Voss… Enough that it may have inspired me to pick a Voss up :D

    Re-read your typecast about the disassembly and prep process, still curious about one thing though… Can you post a picture of the back?

  14. JP H.

    I appreciate it… The one I have on the way looks to have a plate on the back, guess yours only had decals/paint?

  15. Richard P

    RIght, I think the iindication of the U.S. dealer was a decal. This one is pretty earlier; later ones usually have a plate.

  16. Cameron

    Many folks seem to be typing outdoors lately. Let's enjoy the good weather while we can!

  17. Jason

    Speaking of Germany typewriters, have you seen this article? m.nbcnews.com/technology/gadgetbox/german-parliament-bans-laptops-members-bring-typewriter-6124837


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