? Vernian Process: Noir | Main | Cutethulhu ?

April 20, 2007

Hansen Writing Ball


With my very own Schreibkugel installed in the office of my Odic battle zeppelin* I have no excuse not to write my novel. If Nietzsche could tap, tap, tap away through the stomach cramps and a variety of idiot neighbours I have no excuse not to buckle down myself.

The Hansen Writing Ball is one of the most finely crafted and impressive of the early typewriters. It was invented in 1865 by the reverend and principal of the Royal Institute for the deaf-mutes in Copenhagen, Rasmus Malling-Hansen, 1835-1890. The writing ball was first patented and entered production in 1870, and was the first commercially produced typewriter, in Danish it was called the skrivekugle. The Hansen ball was a combination of stunning design and ergonomic innovations, but like most of the early 19th century typewriters, it did not allow the paper to be seen as it passed through the device.

Which I admit is a limitation; not sure about the back-space either. Other useful office equipment include this steampunk laptop or, for more serious sound processing and Abyssal target acquisition purposes, this working Nagy Magical-Movable-Type Pixello-Dynamotronic Computational Engine. I am certain the Opti-Transcriptocon flatbed scanner mod would also come in handy. But the hands down winner of any administrative task necessary for retro-Victorian expeditions to the outer planes must surely be the Telecalculograph; I especially love the furnace.

Flea-readers wishing to tool up for their own expeditions to the Kuiper Belt and beyond might usefully peruse Brass Goggles for all their creative anachrony needs.

* Which needs a name come to think of it. I shall christen her, Adeste Fideles. Quick! To the champagne vats!

Flea's Moving Towers Update: Bonus and extra; this mechanical tiger is a practical solution to inner-city commuting challenges while with minor modification this steam-powered spider would make an excellent battle zeppelin parking attendant.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at April 20, 2007 07:23 AM


I cannot believe this post has been up for almost two days and nobody has reacted to the extreme awesomeness of everything in it. Especially the furnace feature on the Telecalculograph. I would have been good money - iffin I were a bettin man - that Mr. Taylor would have been all over that.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 21, 2007 10:17 PM

I reacted but in a way I could not share. Awesomeness still can engender the singularity of awe.

Posted by: Alan McLeod [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 22, 2007 12:10 AM

I do love the Telecalculograph case mod. And if I had paid attention in shop class I would be all over several case mods for my fleet of telecalculographs. As it is though, I am just slightly depressed that I lack both the metalworking skills to do it myself and any Tony Robbins svengali charisma to convince underlings to do it on my behalf.

Posted by: Chris Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 24, 2007 02:01 PM

I have the same difficulties though fully attend to address the problem immediately my lottery ticket investment gravy train steams into the station.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 24, 2007 02:07 PM