28 de mayo de 2013

My little typewriter stereoscope

Well the other day I came across this beautiful item on the flea market in basel: a stereoscope produced by Unis, Paris. 

Stereoscopy is almost as old as photography itself. Even before the advent of photography, cardboard drawings were used to create threedimensional pictures.

With my (well I admit I bought two) machines came several slides. Here you see a man sitting by the seaside, a nice photo I must say. I only show one half of the slide here, the second half being an almost identical picture, but taken from a slightly different angle, just so far apart as to simulate the distance between our eyes. When looked at separately, our brain then composes one three dimensional image from the two 2-D photos.

View on the lake through the woods, another slide included in the package. Above, photographed through the stereoscope, below the full picture, actually closer to the real effect when looking through the glasses.

Ok, so, my first thought was: I need to produce typewriter slides for this machine! Said an done. Transparent film for overhead projectors and printable with inkjet were readily available at the local store, further I had to invest in a new colour cartridge. I did some research on how to produce the pictures which then should go on the transparent sheet. 

Here you see the composite picture which resulted from taking two pictures, done on a tripod, then calculated the stereo baseline (1/30th of the distance from lens to object, so, in my case, 3-4 cm) and moved the tripod sideways accordingly (no macro slide at hand, would come in handy) for the second picture. Here you see the overlapping photos which show the side movement corresponding to the different angle of our left and right eyes.

I did this overlay in order to adjust the vertical position, which must be precisely the same line for both photos. I think the horizontal distance doesn't need to be superprecise: 3 or 4 cm hardly matter, our brain is clever enough to figure it out. The end result however is the two photos side by side.

Here is the final sheet before cutting.

close-ups, and one single slide.

There we go, first test, and it worked right away! The 3D-effect is real, I was happily surprised. It's physics, baby!

A look through the lens - can't really simulate the 3D effect in this post, although there would be ways... (maybe some other time)

Dr. S. spending the rest of the afternoon gazing at typewriters in the world's first mini-typewriter exhibition!

20 de mayo de 2013

Typewriter exhibition in Switzerland

This was great, and great fun! My friend Mark and i organized an exhibition at the Swiss SHBS International meeting in Appenzell, Switzerland. The topic was ... Swiss Typewriters! Focus was on smaller brands like Patria/ Swissa (Swiss branch of the Patria family) and Calanda, but also for example featuring Otto Petermann, of Swiss origin and creator of the Corona portable. We were able to present 7 models of "RUF" accounting machines as well. Quite a few people came to see the show, actually. Here is some impressions:

9 de mayo de 2013

Big Ruf

Ruf, originally uploaded by shordzi.
(click image to enlarge it)
This 1946 Ruf machine has got all the features including a row of tabulator keys (green).

above, green: the tabulator keys. below: the corresponding tabulator construction
The mighty moose, downside up.

Ruf vs Hermes 2000

Picking up on Richard's question, here is some distinctly low-quality photos from my ipad featuring a Ruf portable #385764 and Hermes 2000 #455226 (the latter in addition to the photo quality being particularly dirty, for which the low photo quality could be of advantage). Apart from the decals, the only differences I could spot were yellow lines on the right half of the platen (Ruf) and an additional frame on top. I hope to see this in action next week, with one of our office specialists explaining.

7 de mayo de 2013

Some RUF

Ruf book-keeping system. Named after Alfons Ruf (1887 - 1931). Swiss.
Farbbanddose RUF
Ribbon tin (made of plastic)
Ruf portable typewriter
early Ruf # 39501, built 1937
Ruf Hermes 193512xx 020 NZZ
1935 ad: "Swiss! / Ruf portable / The only Swiss made portable accounting machine , it equally serves for regular correspondence. Commendable in every respect. Do you wish for a brochure, presentation, sample order? / Ruf Buchhaltung Aktiengesellschaft (Ruf Accounting Inc.)" 
Ruf logo 1937
detail logo from above
Ruf typewriter
# 385764 (made in 1942)
Ruf Hermes 195012xx 022 copy Basler Nachrichten
1950 ad
RUF Electric
one more green giant.
RUF Electric