Archive for June, 2010

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So noiseless it got lost

June 25, 2010

Not too long ago, a construction worker on our library’s construction project handed me a typewriter that has spent the last 50 years or so in oblivion.  When I asked him where he found it, he wasn’t sure because someone else on the crew made the discovery and didn’t necessarily think it important enough to document the *exact* location.   (Who knows, maybe he was a young guy and had never actually seen a typewriter in real life!)  Anyway, it was found in the library’s furnace room, in the depths of the basement.   I have no idea where it was hiding because I personally cleaned out that room, peering into the corners and into every nook and cranny.  Or so I thought.

So quiet it was lost for 50 years!

Dirty but fully intact, this beautiful black Noiseless Remington typewriter is vintage 1930s according to the research I did.   Amazingly enough, the ribbon still has some ink.  The design of this typewriter is utterly fascinating.   Only a few strike keys were actually used to account for all the letters of the alphabet as well as all of the numbers. The clever design utilized multiple striking positions for a single key.  It’s just a lovely piece of history for so many reasons.

I asked the former director, Mary Gates, about the typewriter.  Mary begin her tenure here as the library director in 1974 and she had never seen it.  But she did say that she’s sure that her predecessor, Irene Metke, probably purchased it shortly after her arrival in 1936.   Mrs. Metke was the director of the Dwight Foster Public Library from 1936 to 1973.  She was well known for her love of typing catalog cards.  Seriously.

So I dug up an old catalog card and stuck it in the platen just like old times.  Perhaps that card was originally typed in this very typewriter.  We’ll be finding a place to display this in the historic area of our new library.   So I’m actually really glad it’s noiseless.

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Envisioning the library to come

June 14, 2010

As you stand in the future checkout area, you can now see where the staircase will wrap around the outside of the 1931 alcove area.  You will be able to see the entire historic exterior of the library in that area from the ground floor because it will be left open to above.

For awhile it was hard to see anything but the rubble that comes as a part of the demolition part of a renovation.  But now the building is beginning to take shape and form.  It’s incredibly exciting to see inside when you know what’s coming.  I’ll continue to share photos with you as I’m able.

Our library continues to be transformed…day by day.  How exciting it is to be a part of this chapter in our history!

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