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Home True The Amazing Typewriter Art of Paul Smith

The Amazing Typewriter Art of Paul Smith

by Brett M. Christensen

This story was first published on December 23rd, 2010

Outline

Message with a series of attached pictures claims that the pictures were created on a typewriter by the artist Paul Smith.

Brief Analysis

The claims in the message are true. As stated in the email, American artist Paul Smith created all of his artwork using a typewriter. He passed away in June 2007.

Examples

Subject: Amazing Typewriter/WOW!

He lived at Rose Haven Nursing Home, Roseburg, OR, for years.

This is incredible–especially when you finally get to the bottom and read the biography of the man who painstakingly accomplished these works!

These pictures are unbelievable and amazing. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Typewriter Art Can you believe that this art was created using a typewriter?

Paul Smith Typewriter Art 1

Paul Smith Typewriter Art 2

Paul Smith Typewriter Art 3

Paul Smith Typewriter Art 4

Paul Smith, the man with extraordinary talent was born in Philadelphia on September 21, 1921 with severe cerebral palsy. Not only had Paul beaten the odds of a life with spastic cerebral palsy, a disability that impeded his speech & mobility but also taught himself to become a master artist as well as a terrific chess player even after being devoid of a formal education as a child.

When typing, Paul used his left hand to steady his right one.. Since he couldn’t press two keys at the same time, he almost always locked the shift key down and made his pictures using the symbols at the top of the number keys. In other words, his pictures were based on these characters ….. @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _ .

Across seven decades, Paul created hundreds of pictures. He often gave the originals away. Sometimes, but not always, he kept or received a copy for his own records.

As his mastery of the typewriter grew, he developed techniques to create shadings, colors, and textures that made his work resemble pencil or charcoal drawings.” This great man passed away on June 25, 2007, but left behind a collection of his amazing artwork that will be an inspiration for many.

Editor’s note: The message generally circulates with many other examples of Paul Smith’s work, which have been omitted from this example. You can view these pictures and more via the artist’s website

 

Detailed Analysis

This email forward, which features the work of artist Paul Smith, explains that all of the pictures were created using just a typewriter.

The claims in the email are true. The extraordinary art of Paul Smith was indeed created on a typewriter and is now known all around the world. This inspirational man, who did not allow cerebral palsy to stop him from living a remarkable life, was an accomplished chess player as well as an artist. 
Paul was born in Philadelphia on September 21, 1921. He died on June 25, 2007 while a resident of the Rose Haven Nursing Center in Roseburg, Oregon.

More details about the artist, along with galleries of his work, are available on the Paul Smith Foundation website. The website, now archived via the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, notes:

Across seven decades, Paul created hundreds of pictures. He often gave the originals away. Sometimes, but not always, he kept or received a copy for his own records. Be sure to visit the gallery at this site to see images of his pictures in detail.

 

As his mastery of the typewriter grew, he developed techniques to create shadings, colors, and textures that made his work resemble pencil or charcoal drawings.

It’s interesting to see how he gradually refined his use of perspective and coloring, and how his subject matter reflected the events and personalities of the times.

An article on the Chessville website also provides an interesting insight into the artist’s life.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer