Typecasting in the typosphere

In Salon Jessie Schiewe writes about the "typewritter renaissance" — the re-discovered delights of working on typewriters, or at least disassembling them for their parts.

Max likes to scan the documents he writes on his typewriter and post them to his blog. He's not the only one who's discovered this quirky pastime. Aficionados call it typecasting and they've named their Internet subculture "the typosphere." According to a blog of the same name, it is "a term for bloggers who collect, use, and otherwise obsess over typewriters and other 'obsolete' technologies." The site lists more than 80 typecasting sites, three typewriter-themed Yahoo! groups (with a collective membership of nearly 4,000 people) and one Facebook group.

Sporting clever names like "I dream lo-tech," "Type Clack," "Iron and Ribbon" and "Typesmitten," most typecasting forums are typical fan sites that allow people to post comments on favorite models and recent acquisitions. Other sites, like 17-year-old Matt Cidoni's Adventures in Typewriterdom, are more like personal blogs with posts about getting his driver's license, senior prom and break-dancing.

Matt became interested in typewriters when he was in the seventh grade. "I thought it was fascinating," he said in a phone interview. "I love how it's right in front of you the minute you hit a key. You don't have to wait for it to print, nothing crashes, and you don't have to worry about power outages."

Time for a typewriter renaissance?

(Image: I dream lo-tech)