One fun hobby that has been lost with the downfall of typewriters is typewriter art, using the letters to create images. Typewriter portraits of the stars were particularly popular and I found some in a 1919 issue of Photoplay. Huzzah!
(The art isn’t entirely dead but it’s definitely no longer mainstream.)
Young Kenneth Taylor had a job at the Los Angeles Times but he also loved to make art on his typewriter and I think the kid had talent. Kenneth penciled in his artwork and then used the typewriter (his favorite letters were M, W and X) to fill in the shadows and such. Here’s his work:
Dorothy Gish looks merry in her tam!
A stoic portrait of William S. Hart. Fewer letters than Dorothy, more punctuation.
Would this be complete without Charlie Chaplin? I think not!
You can look up lots of swell clippings like these at the Media History Digital Library.
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