I can’t believe how slow I have been at updating this blog – there are so many typewriters and so many beers to get to! You would think during pandemic times I would be able to do more of this type of thing. Never fear, there is more to come, I promise! Our subjects for this entry both have very personal significance to me.
Commodore 2200 Typewriter
I was a child of the 1980s and was fortunate that my parents decided to take the plunge into the Personal Computer Revolution early in that decade. Back in those days there were a number of platforms available, none were even slightly compatible with one another. My introduction to computers was via the Commodore 64, which due to its low price seemed somewhat ubiquitous at the time. If another kid at my school had a computer, it was probably a Commodore (some people’s parents had Apple II or IBM machines, but looking back, they probably were for business as they were significantly more expensive). I continued to use Commodore machines (later, their Amiga machines) for many years, and in fact I still play around with them today.
It wasn’t until many years later that I learned Commodore had made a great many other products, including… Typewriters!
Commodore under Jack Tramiel had an utterly fascinating history. Robert Messenger covers a lot it in his Oz Typewriters post on Commodore. It is well worth a read! If the typewriter pictured above looks kind of familiar, it may be due to the fact that Commodore didn’t really invent typewriter models, they essentially imported the parts from overseas manufacturers, and assembled them in North America. Right here in Toronto, in fact!
Commodore typewriters are kind of frustrating to track because many of them don’t have a badge with a model name, just the brand name. There is no marking on this machine to designate it a “2200” model, however identical machines are listed as such in the Typewriter Database, so I am following their lead with a leap of faith! Interestingly, there is also a category of TWDB for “Commodore Unknown” with a mishmash of various different models.
This model was based on the Consul 221, originally manufactured in Czechoslovakia. This archived post by Will Davis has some great detail on Consul and the lineage of their typewriters. I have never used a Consul as they are quite uncommon in this part of Canada (probably because they were making Commodores here). It is constructed of very stern stuff and is heavy, which seems a bit of a throwback as the rest of the industry was probably making lighter machines by this time, and plastic body shells had started to emerge.
I bought this machine on a whim at a pawn shop (McTamney’s in Toronto) purely for the “chicken head” (or C=) Commodore logo. I already have a very similar model of Commodore typewriter which is waiting on some repair work (it had been dropped before I received it), but it had a “Speedwriter” badge on it. As an old Commodore computer enthusiast, I really wanted that logo! I looked the machine over quickly and took a chance on it.It was cosmetically very nice, and while the keys weren’t flying very fast, I figured it just needed a cleaning. My typecast reveals a little more as to the issues it suffers from.
If nothing else, this typewriter will enable me to learn some new diagnostic and repair skills. At worst, well, maybe someone will need some of these parts? More to come, I trust!
Third Moon’s Dust Made Flesh
Can you imagine opening a business like a brewery during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic lock-down? No, me neither. But that is just what the folks at Third Moon Brewing did. Based out of Milton, Ontario, this upstart operation by a couple of home brewers is remarkable for one reason: incredible beer!
Releasing their new beer every Thursday (available for pick-up at the brewery), they have really surprised me with the outstanding quality of their brews. For a new brewer to come out of the gate producing beer this consistently good is a surprise. They specialize in IPAs and big, strong stouts.
Dust Made Flesh is probably my favorite from Third Moon, I’ve tried it a few times now. It is a really big-flavoured, full-bodied Double IPA (DIPA). It maintains its lovely flavour while balancing the high level of hops and a pretty high alcohol level. Not a lot of DIPAs pull this off nearly as well. This drinks so smoothly it is dangerous! The DIPA is among my very favorite styles of beer, and Third Moon makes a number of excellent ones.
Third Moon is also notable for their creatively dark labels and the mysterious names of their beers. Yardwolves (Casey Shea) is the artist, and I really love this work. When I have picked up boxes of beer directly from the brewery I have found extra labels included, still on their backing, which I think is marvelous because the artwork is so good.
Until next time, safe typing and imbibe carefully!