Typewriter Art of the Silent Stars!

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!


  1. Susan Clark

    I collect autographed pictures of classic movie stars. I write letters to the stars and include a SASE. I have several from the silent movie era. My biggest one is Lillian Gish. She sent me a picture of her from the early 1920s that had her autograph on it and she also included a 3×5 card with her current signature. She was 98 at the time I received her autograph. The picture along with the card is framed and hanging on my living room wall. 😊

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