Words as image

In the introduction to his 1975 book Typewriter Art, the poet Alan Riddell stated that the first known example of typewriter art was a ‘drawing’ of a butterfly by Flora F. F. Stacey, from 1898. In fact, as the research of poet and typewriter art enthusiast Andrew Belsey has revealed, there is every indication that each decade from the 1870s onwards has produced a significant body of work. Pitman’s Typewriter Manual from of ‘decorative ornaments’ that the typist can use to embellish their texts. At the bottom right of this page is a small ‘drawing’ of a man in a hat smoking a cigarette. No special mention is made of this character’s appearance, so we can assume such things were quite common.

Paul de Vree (see ...

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