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Type a Letter

This project considers our need for the new except when something old is pretty cool!  Technology is all around us and probably in your hand right now.  It streamlines our lives but does it make life more meaningful?  By introducing a new generation to a state of the art technology - from another era, new ways of interacting are introduced (or the old ways are reintroduced.)


Type a letter started as a spin off from the Collections project.  One very generous local collector of manual typewriters, Erik Molbach loved the idea of neighbors using his typewriters during  Chatham's Summerfest in July of 2013.  The event was so popular it seemed only right to offer it to a larger audience.  While Type a Letter was set up at the Dumbo Arts Festival (Sept. 2013,)  there was never an empty seat for the 6 hours of the event.  Over 300 letters were written in more than 5 languanges.


The pace and physicality of typing on a manual typewriter creates a match with how one thinks. There are many renown writers that insist on creating their manuscripts on manual typewriters including Danielle Steele, Harlan Ellison, and Cormac McCarthy.  Cormac McCarthy used a portable Olivetti Lettera 32 typewriter to write all of his manuscripts.  That’s 5 million typed words!

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