Monday, September 10, 2007

The Machine Age

One of the great things about living in a dilapidated blue-collar town is that you can buy things for garage sale prices nearly everywhere. I recently picked up this 1930s Underwood typewriter for $20, spread out over a few payments. It's nearly identical to the one my grandparents used to use in their real estate agency when I was a kid.

Some of you will remember listening to my rapture about old machines: the smell of old grease, the martial clacking of their gears and levers, the cold steel bulk to them, and most of all the kinesthetic beauty of their internal organization. The machine age replicated the human body- at least as we understood it then- in the tools we used. The digital age extends the central nervous system in space with a corresponding loss of body-sense. Machines remind me of corporeality.

1 comment:

Rufus said...

Incidentally, I'd really like to add the image of 'grad student madness' on the typewriter as a heading to the blog. Anybody know how to do that?