He still owns the Deluxe Toy Dial machine, but probably hasn't written with it for over seventy years. Of course, Ray didn't ever do any professional work with this device, but he supposedly wrote an Edgar Rice Burroughs-inspired novel on it when still at a tender young age. In later years he progressed to more sophisticated machineries, some of them electrical.
And has even been known to Skype:
All right, he has some help when he does this, but it proves he's not quite the luddite some people would have you believe.
What of other writers? Where did they first tap out their tales?
Harlan Ellison began on something rather more professional than Bradbury: a portable Remington, bought for him by his mother when he was fifteen years old. He wrote his earliest stories on this machine, and produced his fanzine Dimensions on it up to about 1954.
Harlan is now looking to sell this historic item, and the current asking price is a sweet $40,000. In case you doubt the significance of Ellison the writer, I remind you that this man has won (deep breath):
- 8-and-a-half Hugo Awards from the World Science Fiction Convention
- 3 Nebula Awards from the Science Fiction Writers of America
- 5 Bram Stoker Awards from the Horror Writers' Association
- 2 Edgar Awards from the Mytery Writers of America
- a George Melies Award
- a Silver Pen Award for Journalism
- 4 Writers Guild of America Awards for screenwriting
He is, without doubt, one of the most significant 20th-century American writers of the literature of the fantastic. That old Remington may not be the machine upon which he wrote of the Harlequin, or Jeffty, or Vic & Blood; but it's the machine that first allowed him to unleash his astonishing literary muse.
Have a spare 40k? What a magnificent Christmas gift this would make:
Read more about Harlan and his typewriter at the official Harlan's Typewriter For Sale site.