With the postings on the "Auto-typist", I have to throw in a little
story I have on the "Robotypist", a competitor.
When I used to live in Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue University would
have a big salvage sale on Friday mornings. It was quite a fun thing.
Whenever they would remodel or clean out one of the research labs, all
the unwanted goodies would show up there -- a veritable junk collectors
In the course of the 10+ years I attended, I found all manner of
parts -- like roll chucks, gears and crankshafts, 2 Ampico pumps and
a Wurlitzer bass drum beater -- all removed from their 'home' to be
adapted for some science project. I found 2 "Auto-typist" perforators
which I picked up for $10.00 each and, much later, 2 Robotypist units,
one early and one late.
The early roll frame uses a roll 1/8-inch narrower than a Wurlitzer
APP roll. What is interesting is that, while the Auto-typist uses the
standard 11-1/4-inch-wide roll, the perforations are at 5 per inch.
The early Robotypist used 54 holes at 6-to-the-inch, which is the same
as standard 65-note A- and G-roll spacing. The late spool frame I have
uses about a 3-1/4-inch roll. It appears to have used some Hupfeld-
style multiplexing: 16 holes, also at 6 per inch.
The vacuum pump for this later style is very unusual. Its design
is much like the rotary box-pump except it is hexagonal. Instead of
bellows, there were 6 rubber toilet plungers -- and it made the
appropriate (though subdued) sound when it ran.
I made a semi-successful player bagpipe out of the thing.
I guess there are worse ways to fritter away one's youth.
Brian Thornton, Short Mountain Music Works
109 North Cannon Street, Woodbury, TN 37190 Ph: (615) 563-5814