Nostalgia for Obsolete Technology Meets DIY Culture in the USB Typewriter

By Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg

Jack Zylkin, an engineer, hooks antique typewriters up to modern computers and tablets to create functioning writing machines -- and then sells them on Etsy. It's almost a perfect storm of hipster obsessions. Vintage? Check. Handmade? Check. iPad? Check. Open source? Check. Et cetera. You might be tempted roll your eyes, but watch this documentary from Etsy's Handmade Portraits series and see if he doesn't convince you that there's something extremely satisfying about merging antique machinery with glossy, networked devices. The video was produced by Jenny Schweitzer, who provides more background on the project here.  

For a very brief visual history of the typewriter, check out this short archival clip from the Prelinger Archvie:

 

See web-only content:
http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/09/nostalgia-for-obsolete-technology-meets-diy-culture-in-the-usb-typewriter/262226/

For more videos from Etsy, visit http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/video/.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/09/nostalgia-for-obsolete-technology-meets-diy-culture-in-the-usb-typewriter/262226/