The History of Bear Wrestling

The History of Bear Wrestling

When it comes to manly skills a few things come to mind, like; lumberjack, lion tamer, firefighter, etc. But then there is another level of manly, and that includes bear wrestling. Obviously it’s not common practice today, although some would say it’s probably safer than some other extreme sports.

Men were generally tougher in years gone by, it’s hard to disagree with that. There wasn’t the luxuries we are all accustomed to today, and a spot of bear wrestling was a good way to set the boys apart from the men. So let’s take a little look at the history of bear wrestling, and remember those brave enough to put it all on the line for the sake of proving their manliness.

It’s Gruesome Beginnings

It’s widely believed that bear wrestling started in the German and barbarian clans. With a bear being brought to the group of the toughest warriors, and after a wrestling session – the last man standing was declared the clan leader. Obviously this gruesome beginning couldn’t last, and the ‘sport’ of wrestling bears became a much more civilized activity in the years that followed.

Bear Wrestling in the 1900’s

Bear wrestling

Back in the early 1900’s animal cruelty and the regard for one’s own safety was a lot more lackluster. Wrestling bears was a well known practice back then, and large crowds of people would gather if the news of a match was spreading.

The idea of a man trying to impose his will upon a much larger, stronger, and more fierce looking animal was a fascinating concept. Some would agree it’s still fascinating today, but for obvious reasons no longer takes place. Well, at least not as far as we know, although it’s believed that it still takes place in remote parts of Russia.

Wrestling bears in Russia is something of legend. Kid’s would wrestle bears young bears while being watched by handlers. Young bears are particularly playful, and will roll around without posing a serious threat. But they are unpredictable animals, and the practice raises eyebrows and is frowned upon by many. Especially when it involves children.

Terrible Ted the Wrestling Bear

Terrible Ted the Wrestling Bear

Between the 1950’s and the 1970’s there was a bear named Terrible Ted, and he is probably the most famous performing bear of all time. The animal is referred to as a Canadian professional wrestler, and was part of wrestling promotions and circus performances. He was detoothed and declawed, so he could not do serious damage to humans when wrestling, and became a quite the spectacle.

Terrible Ted would perform matches with other professional wrestlers in front of audiences, and his trainer would offer money to anyone who thought they could beat Ted in a wrestling match. In fact, someone did take up an offer to do so. Pinning Ted and winning the match, but the trainer refused to payout. The controversy only added to the publicity for Ted, raising his profile and encouraging more people to take up the challenge.

Ted wrestled his last match in 1974, going out on a win like all good performers prefer to. There has not been any other known bears to follow in his paw steps since, and it’s probable we will never see another.

Should You Wrestle a Bear in the Wild?

Brown Bears Fighting

For most of us reading this the answer is fairly obvious. But for those of you who need some extra reassurance, you should never attempt to wrestle a bear. Ever. It is purely for the trained professionals, both animal and human. The bears that wrestle have had their claws and teeth removed, or if they still have teeth they will be wearing a muzzle. The men tough enough to have a wrestle are also trained professionals – and a little bit crazy!

If you do happen to come across a bear in the wild you’re in a spot of bother. You cannot outrun a bear, not on any terrain. This is why the best advice is always to play dead, or climb a tree as high as possible. Bears are pretty good at climbing, especially black bears. But people have climbed to safety before. Prevention is by far the best option, if you’re hiking in bear country be very vigilant, and even if you have a slight inkling that a bear may be near – get out of the area!

All images in this post are from Wikimedia Creative Commons and used under the Licensed Fair Use policy.

7 Essential Survival Skills

7 Essential Survival Skills

Before you head into the wild there are some basis survival skills that you should be aware of . These are basically techniques that you can use to save yourself, your loved ones or just about anybody from an adverse situation that you may come across.

These techniques are meant to provide basic necessities for human life: water, food,  shelter, habitat, the ability to think straight, to signal for help, to navigate safely, to avoid unpleasant and possibly fatal interactions with animals and plants, and to cure any incurred injury or ailments

Any outdoor activity that you go for like Camping, hiking, hunting etc when you leave the urban world, requires some amount of survival skills

Here area list of essential skills that each of us should be aware of

7 Essential Survival Skills

7. Survival Cooking

survival cooking

Imagine a situation where you’re left out in the wild with no equipment and gas to cook your grub, how will you cook? Well, I’m sure you would have heard of the famous statement – necessity is the mother of all invention

Did you know a thermos would come of help in this case and act as the piece of cooking equipment. If you know how to boil water. you should be able to easily pull it off with a lot of time.

You will need to preheat the thermos with water which helps maintain the heat throughout the thermos which is required for cooking.

The items that you can cook are rice, beans, steel cut oats and dried fruits. Obviously, the cooking time will depend on the quality of thermos and the ability to retain it’s heat along with ingredients you’re cooking.

6. Starting a Fire

starting a fireFire is one the most essential things during a survival. The heat provided can help you beat the cold, cook food, dry clothes and most importantly give you the mental strength to survive in an adverse situation. Most of us will know this, but we’re so used to urbanization that we forget how to start a fire without a lighter or matches.

There are many ways to start a fire without matches with few of them being

  • Friction based fire making
  • The Hand Drill
  • Fire Plough
  • Blow Drill
  • Flint & Steel
  • Lens Based methods

You can read more about them here

5. Insulation

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In a survival situation, knowing how to insulate yourself and your shelter can make a huge difference. Luckily, when you’re out in the wild all alone there are a lot of things you can use to keep yourself warm and secure.

Materials like fibrous plant, grass, layers of bark and leaves can be used to insulate yourself as well as create a shelter for yourself.

To retain the heat in your shelter you need to use the materials to build a thick layer over an inside your shelter as this will trap the air and build and retain the heat.

For yourself, you can use the materials between the layers of your clothing to retain the heat. You should also go ahead and make a mattress for yourself from the materials as this will help you beat the cold which you will get from the ground.

4. Making a Compass

compass

When you’re in the wild and lost, the best way to find yourself out is through navigation. Were you aware that you cane easily make a compass to guide you in the right direction. This is an essential survival skills to have.

Did you know that you could easily make a compass in the wild? Use a little bit of silk or wool from your clothing to magnetize the needle. Rub the needle from eye to point around 100 times and the needle will now be magnetized.

Now float the needle on a leaf or piece of paper and you yourself have a compass.

Note – This is also one of the most important survival gadgets you can carry in all of your survival stuff

3. Mental Attitude

mental attitude

One of the most important factors to get out of an survival situation. You might have the knowledge, skills – but not having the right mental attitude and controlling your emotions will just harm more than help your situation. To be prepared to survive, you need to have the right mental attitude that your situation is helpless and you ultimately chose to survive

In a survival situation, fear usually grips us to a point where we are unable to act and take any decisions or you just might base all your decision on fear. Both affect you in an adverse manner.

Anyone might get into survival situation at any point in time, there are no guarantees that you’ll never get into on. The best is to accept your fears and train yourself for facing such situations. Training is always essential as your mind accepts the facts and gets ready to face the situation in hand. When a professional basketball player hits the game winning free throw, it’s not because he was born to play basketball. It’s because he spent hundreds maybe even thousands of hours shooting free throws. When the time came to make the shot, he made it because he made that same shot ten thousand times before.

So, you can easily train your mind by doing things over and over again.

2. Water

water

You can easily find water out in the wild. You just need to remember that almost any environment has water present to some degree. You just need to ensure that you purify the water before drinking it.

The basic process of filtering water in a survival situation is to remove debris such as soil, dirt, sediment, sticks, leaves and any animals living in the water. If you have two container, you can easily fill one with water and then use your shirt or some other piece of cloth to filter the basic debris while poring into the other container

If you do not have a cup, can or other type of container, improvise one from plastic or water-resistant cloth. Shape the plastic or cloth into a bowl by pleating it. Use pins or even your hands to hold the pleats.

1. First Aid

first aid

When you’re out there its important to learn about first aid. First -Aid skills are something that everyone should know as you can help yourself to an extent or just save somebody else’s life in the process.

a. Cleaning & dressing wounds – Having the right skill to disinfect and bandage wounds apart from having a first aid kit is really very important

b. Making a Makeshift spling or shift – One of the most important first aid skills to learn would be making your own makeshift splints or slings for broken bones. Broken bones and sprains are inevitable injuries that need first aid especially in a outdoor survival or emergency situation, the main key to a fast recovery would be protecting and avoiding further damage by completely immobilizing the part where the injury is.

c. CPR – Used to help victims with cardiac arrest

d. Heimlich Maneuver – Used to assist victims that are choking

Summary

So there you have it, a list of 7 essential survival skills in no particular order which will help you in any adverse or emergency situation

How to become a Firefighter

How to become a Firefighter

Becoming a Firefighter

70% of all applicants to fire careers quit before becoming a firefighter. Why? there could be a number of reasons, the top one being it’s just plain hard. Most cities test very infrequently and are rarely ever regular. Some may test and hire new firefighters as often as every 6 months, while some may go 6 to 10 years between hiring. Being a fireman is usually a career job, so the ones who get it, stay there until they retire.

Don’t let that discourage you though, while the competition may be fierce, and the jobs few and far between, there are few things manlier than saving kittens from trees, making your community a better place, getting to battle mother nature(fire that is), and swinging an axe. The goal of this page is to give you a leg up on the competition & help you learn how to become a firefighter.

Steps to Becoming a Firefighterfirefighters putting out a housefire

Firefighters most often work for a city government, even though there are some federal and private fire fighter jobs(such as private military contractors that hire people to go over to Iraq). That means that the individual hiring processes & requirements to become a firefighter could be very wide & varied. However, the steps to become a fireman are fairly standard across the board:

1)Graduate High School or Get Your GED

 

2)Get on as a Volunteer Fire Fighter

 

3)Keep Your ear to the ground for job openings

 

4)Apply & Go through the evaluation process: Firefighter Civil Service Exam, Physical Test, and Pysch Eval

 

5)Go through the fire training academy

 

6)Graduate and start fighting fires

 

Graduate High School or Get Your GED: Not all fire stations have the same education requirements as far as certifications, credit hours, etc. You will however need to either graduate from high school or get your GED. This is a basic step just about everyone takes before they turn 19. Plus because you are reading this blog, I can assume you’re a smart, well groomed guy who know how to take care of business.

 

Get on as a Volunteer FireFighter: Most cities & towns have a volunteer fire department. These guys are often the reserves in case things get really crazy, and may even cover a small portion of a town or city. However, it is not a paid position. Typically they don’t have official openings or hirings, so the best way to get the job is to go to a fire station, talk to the chief & see how your city’s system works.

Keep Your ear to the ground for job openings: Now this is the key to getting hired. Often times the competition for a spot as a paid fireman can be so fierce that the jobs are filled before you even hear about them. However, if you are a volunteer fireman this shouldn’t be a problem. Because you are already inside the fire department, you should be one of the first to hear about any potential jobs or hiring tests. On top of that, because of the experience and connections you make volunteering you are in the ideal situation to step up to the big leagues as it were.  You can sign up for national job notifications at firerecruit.com.

 

Apply & Go through the evaluation process: This is usually the longest and most grueling step to becoming a fireman.  This is where they will poke prod & examine you inside and out. The first part is usually a civil service exam to see if you are fit to work for the city. This test covers basic math and science skills as well as basic reading and writing. The physical test can be hard & physically demanding, I’ll give you the inside scoop in the next section, but let’s just say you need to be ready to do some work while wearing a 50lb vest. The psych eval typically consists of a personality inventory(500-900 true/false questions about how you feel) and an interview. Things can get wierd, but just tell the truth & don’t tell them about any voices that tell you to start a fire.

 

Go through the fire training academy: Here is where all the book learning can help you or hurt you. Through the academy you will learn about construction, chemistry, anatomy & physiology, emergency medicine, and fire behavior. If you want to have a leg up on things, it may benefit you to take some fire science classes at a local community college. Additionally, there is usually a physical component to help train you to be ready to save people from burning buildings.

 

Graduate and start fighting fires: After that boom you are ready start fighting fires. You will still have a lot to learn and they will go over that with you in your fire station, however for the most part you have what you need. The only thing left is to get real life experience doing it. You may have to spend some time being on probation or get hazed as a new fireman.

 

Firefighting Requirements

With a basic overview of the steps in place, lets take a deeper looks at what is required to be a firefighter. Hopefully after a few short paragraphs you’ll have a handle on what the absolute bare minimum is, what is helpful to have, and what you don’t need.

 

Bare MinimumHelpful to HaveNot Needed
GED or High SchoolDiploma
Reach 18 Years of Age
Have a clean record
Physical Fitness
EMT License
Volunteer Experience
Paramedics Certification
Emergency Medicine Experience
4 Year Degree
A perfectly clean record
Live Fire Training Before the Academy

 

The Bare Minimum:

GED or High School Diploma: As stated earlier if you haven’t graduated high school you can’t be a fire fighter. This one of the basic firefighter education requirements. Some of the things that fire fighters learn in the fire academy require more than basic math & a general knowledge of the human body. A&P courses along with chemistry and algebra are helpful to take in high school, but at the end of the day you just need a fancy piece of paper with your name on it.

 

Reach 18 Years of Age: Being 18 should be obvious to an upstanding gentleman as yourself, but if you are younger & aspiring to be a firefighter, give it a few years. Some states & cities required age is 21, but 18 is a guarantee. Volunteer departments may have more flexible rules, but don’t count on it.

 

Have a clean record: You can’t be an arsonist & a firefighter. A few traffic tickets are fine, but major felonies, like murder, will put you in a bad position from the start. This one is pretty straight forward & easy. Keep your nose clean & you’ll be fine.

 

Physical Fitness: This isn’t negotiable. As a firefighter you will be rushing in and out of burning buildings, lifting other people, etc. You will only
be putting yourself, citizens, and other firefighters in danger if you are physically unfit. Therefore it is super important that you get fit. If you need an easy way to get in shape start doing crossfit. However have no fear the fire physical test is strict enough that if you pass it, you should most if not all of the physical ability you need. The CPAT test which is an international standardized ability test consists of 8 elements:

 

EventDescription
Stair ClimbYou must walk on a stepmill at the rate of 60 steps per minute for 3 minutes
Hose DragYou will need to run a total of 100 feet around obstacles dragging a hose. Once you have reached 100 feet, you will then turn and pull the hose 50 feet from a kneeling position
Equipment CarryDuring this event you will remove two saws from a tool cabinet, carry them a total of 150 feet & then putting them back into the tool cabinet one at a time.
Ladder ExtensionDuring this event there are two ladders. One is hinged and attached to the ground. and that is fastened to the wall. You will be required to pick up the unhinged end of the ladder and walk it up to the wall, making sure to touch every rung as you do so. Then you will proceed immediately to the other ladder & raise the extendable end up until you have completed extended it, then you will lower it.
Forcible EntryYou will a special sensor with a sledge hammer until you are able to hit it with a specific amount of force.
SearchHere you will be put into a small maze that is made up of small tunnels that are filled with obstacles & the tunnels may get smaller as you go.
RescueYou will be required to carry a 165 lb dummy 70 feet.
Ceiling Breach and PullHere you will get the opportunity to show off your sweet muscles. You have to take a pike pole(big pointy object) out of a bracket. Push-up against a weighted trap door three times, then pull down on a weighted hook 5 times. That’s one set. You have to do 4 in a row.

 

As you can see firefighting is not for the unfit, but all of the tests are achievable & none are impossible. Here’s a video of all 8 events:

 

Helpful to Have

EMT License : While not all fire departments require that you have one of these bad boys, some do, they only take one semester at a community college to get & if you don’t have one somebody else will. So you should seriously consider getting one. The EMT course needs a long guide all on it’s own. Needless to say during the course you will learn about IV medications, emergency medicine, and Anatomy & Physiology. If you are able to get on a fire department without one, you will certainly be qualified for one after the fire academy. Additionally, the good news is, if you have this & the firefighting thing doesn’t work out, you can also go work on an ambulance. If you have questions about getting EMT certified, look here.

 

Volunteer Experience: Become a volunteer firefighter isn’t required, but I included it in the steps to becoming a firefighter for a reason. It is helpful for all sorts of reasons. The biggest being, you will usually be the first to hear about potential spots on the department. It’s also a great place to try out being a firefighter & decide if that’s really what you want to do. Also it scores points with the ladies.

 

Paramedics Certification: After EMT’s come paramedics these guys are the real deal. They are the highest trained medical professional outside of a hospital. This typically takes about 2 years of school, and has more opportunities than EMT’s. With a paramedic’s license you are able to do things you may not have been able to do as an EMT. However, it is not required, because most fire departments will send you to paramedics school & pay for it after you’ve gotten on with the department.

 

Emergency Medicine Experience: If you’ve worked in an ER or on an ambulance, you are going to have a leg up on other applicants. This again is not required, as you will get plenty once you are a fireman.

 

Not Needed

A 4 Year Degree:Even though I’m sure you’re a fine educated gentleman, you don’t need a four year degree in fire engineering to become a firefighter. Most of the time, this is just a waste of money & time. If you have some sort of other degree, great! However, don’t think you need one just to become a firefighter. Let the people you work for pay for your training and education.

 

A perfectly clean record: Some people get a little paranoid about their background check. It’s ok if you have a few tickets, or even have had a suspended license. You will need a valid license in most if not all cities when you apply. Also depending on what’s on your record it may make it a little harder to get the job, but hey as manly men we live for the challenge right?

 

Live Fire Training Before the Academy: You don’t need to have been through a burning building before you go through the academy. There will be plenty of that in the academy have no fear. In fact, it’s usually better if you come as a blank slate, that way the city can train you exactly the way they want. Just apply & follow the steps listed above & you’ll be fine.

 

FireFighting School

So you’ve made it past the application process & you are in the fire training academy. Awesome! You are going to learn of stuff that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Every city does their academies differently so I’ll be giving you a brief overview of what you are going to learn in your firefighter training.

Construction & Engineering– Ah yes, I bet you didn’t think you would need to be an amateur contractor as a firefighter. Well the fact of the matter is, if you are going to be running in and out of buildings that are on fire, it matters very much how much you know about a building’s structural integrity. During this portion of the academy you will learn basic construction principles as well as the melting points for different materials, where structural weak & strong points are, and what a building looks like right before it collapses.

Fire Engineering– Fire is a fickle mistress. It behaves differently depending on the conditions. What it takes to put it out & get it under control will change as well. You will learn all about chemical fires, electrical fires, standard fuel fires, etc. You will also learn how fire reacts differently to different firefighting actions. For example you need to know how to not feed fire more oxygen, but still being able to people out of a building. This part can be both interesting and boring, so pay attention.

Emergency Medicine– Firefighters work a lot outside of burning buildings. They are typically the first to respond to emergency calls. This means that you will need to know how to treat lots of different conditions & injuries. Some calls you may get sent on include scenes of shootings, car accidents, and the discovery of a dead body. So I hope you have a strong stomach, but I’m sure you do.

Live Fire Training Exercises– Some cities have a big enough department to have what they call a burn building. A burn building is usually a concrete structure that can be set on fire repetitively. Smaller cities and departments sometimes use houses that were foreclosed on or donated to the apartment. This is where you will put all you have learned to use without anyone besides yourself actually being at risk & yes people have died during live fire training exercises. That’s ok though, sometimes a little danger keeps you on your toes.

What do Firefighter’s dofirefighters at work

So you’ve passed all the evaluations & graduated from the academy. What now? What do firefighters actually do?  Well for one they fight fires. They handle both commercial and domestic fires. Additionally, they are the cities number one resource for 9-1-1 calls. That means you will be on the scene for a lot of car accidents, etc. 

In addition to that you may work public or city events, such as fairs etc. Some cities do health screenings & health fairs that are open to the public. You will be the main resource for those events. When you are not fighting fires, responding to 9-1-1 calls, handling public health events, or cleaning your equipment(which could add up to basically your entire first year of duty) you will be hanging at the fire station waiting for a call.


Usually firefighters work on 24 hour shifts, so you will have a rack to sleep in, a kitchen to cook in, and a living area to hang out and watch T.V. in. So the usual fire fighter shift schedule is to work two 24 hour shifts a week, for 3-5 weeks in a row & then you will get something like 7 or 8 days off. Often it depends on the city, but once you are one a shift unless you move shifts or stations, your schedule could be set for the rest of your life, which is pretty sweet.

 

The Internation association for Fire Fighters is also a great resource.

Manly Guide to Power Washing & Pressure Washer Reviews

Manly Guide to Power Washing & Pressure Washer Reviews

The best pressure washer on the market can take jobs that usually take a long time & are very hard to do, and make them easier. It’s a pretty simply and manly concept, if you can clean something well by spraying it with water, you can clean it better by shooting water at it under very high pressure. In this guide we are going to cover a few things that will keep you wasting a bunch of money, or pressure washing the paint off of your car. Read this very carefully because if you buy the wrong machine for your needs you could either be left with an eternally dirty car & house, or you could end up stripping the finely groomed facial hair right off of your face.

How does a pressure washer work

Pressure washers are essentially just a few parts: an engine, a pump, a nozzle, and a hot/cold water option.

The engine in the pressure washer is what gives it the pressure. There are two types electric motors & gasoline motors. The general rule of thumb is that gas power pressure washers are more powerful than electric, but electric motors are more quiet and typically cheaper. Don’t worry about which you’ll need right this second we will cover that in more detail in our pressure washer buying guide. The main thing you want to pay attention is the PSI(pounds per square inch, but you knew that already I’m sure).

The pump is what sends the water out of the reservoir. The important thing to pay attention to is the GPM or gallons per minute. That number measures how fast all that high pressure water is going to flow. If the a pump can’t move sufficient gallons then it doesn’t matter how bad your engine is, the pressure washer will be useless. So when shopping around be sure to check out both the PSI & the GPM of different washers

The nozzle is essentially the business end of the pressure washer. It’s where the what comes out. Now these vary based on the degree of the nozzle. The bigger the degree the wider the spray of water. So 45 degree nozzles cover a wider area than a 0 degree nozzle, but do so at the expense of pressure. So keep that in mind, if you covering a wide area then a high degree nozzle may be desirable if you aren’t covering that large of an area & need a deeper clean then you need a more narrow nozzle.

Most power washers will take water at room temperature. Some even take hot water up to 40 degrees celsius. Depending on the model & options you want some will even heat the water up for you. This is a handy feature as hot water typically cleans better than cold, but be careful models that heat up the water typically put it around 160 degrees farenheit which can make for some nasty mishaps if used carelessly.

The Guide to Power washer rental

If you don’t have the funds to buy a power washer or only need one for a short while pressure washer rental is the perfect option for you. Here are some basics you need to know about renting a pressure washer.

Where can you rent a pressure washer? Typically the best place is going to be a local hardware store or construction equipment. Home Depot, Lowes, and other big chain stores have them, but often will jack up the prices when compared to smaller stores. Additionally, an option that may not be entirely nice, but good is to buy one with an Amazon Prime membership, use it & then return it. You will get free shipping both ways. Be sure to check any return policies before pursuing this option though.

It usually costs anywhere between $30 & $135 per day. This often depends on the model you get, how powerful it is, any extra equipment that you want with it. It will also often depend on the availability of the pressure washers the store has.

Be sure if you think the cleaning may last more than one day to ask about their closed door policy. If your clean doesn’t take as long as planned, or takes longer than planned it would be a pain to pay for a day you didn’t use it for.

Additionally, check any policies the store has on the condition of their machine on returning it. For example gas powered cleaners may need to be refilled with gas, and both electric and gas pressure washers may need to dry before they can be returned as to prevent molding while it is sitting in the store.

Pressure Washing Buying Guide

Let’s assume that you do in fact have the cash & ongoing need for a pressure washer. Here are some handy tips for buying one.

1) Assess your needs. Are you cleaning a house? A boat? What type of material is it & how often will it be cleaned. Metals & plastics that are found on things like cars, bikes, boats, and jet skis are pretty dirt resistant and easier to clean. While things like stones and wood can be more porous and take more pressure to get 100% of the way clean. So metals & plastics=less pressure, stone & wood = more pressure

2) Assess your budget. If money isn’t an option then skip this section. Otherwise realize this even the least powerful, least expensive gas pressure washer is stronger than the most expensive, most powerful electric pressure washer. So if you need power, you will definitely be looking at a gas washer. If you don’t need as much power, then electric is the way to go.

3) Calculate cleaning power(CP). CP is the GPM multiplied by the PSI. This will help sort out any potential models you may be looking at buying. The great the cleaning power, the better the buy.

4) Check for additional features. These include interchangeable or rotating nozzles. Sensors or warning lights that help prevent damage. Additionally look for any options to inject chemicals or detergents. Combine all of those factors to find a washer that meets your needs.

So now the ultimate question:

What’s the best pressure washer – find out with these pressure washer reviews!

How it was decided: A pressure washer is about more than just raw power. There are several factors to take into account including price, power output, noise level, usefulness, reliability, and more. So when this was decided it was a combination of all of the above factors.

The best pressure washer is the AR Blue Clean AR383 Pressure Washer

AR383 Pressure Washer

The AR383 is hands down the best power washer available

This machine is all around one of the greatest washers you’ll ever use. The power output is on the high side for electrics, but when stacked up against gasoline powered washers it’s a little low.

That’s OK though. Remember, we said it’s not all about power. This machine has tons of different uses around the house which means you’ll get the most cleaning bang for your buck. It’s got an external casing that makes it look almost like a vacuum cleaner, but manlier.

Overall this machine will throw out H2O at 1900 PSI around 1.9 GPM. That’s plenty for the average home/jet ski/car/boat/ 4 wheeler owner. It’s easy to handle which means you won’t be making any costly mistakes like stripping paint off of the side of your house.

So if the AR383 is the best overall machine,

What’s the best value pressure washer?

The PW1825 has got to be the best value machine one the market. Don’t make the mistake of associating the word ‘value’ with the words ‘poor quality’ because that would be a mistake. In this case ‘value’ should mean I need to get the job done right now & don’t have time to wait until pay day to afford the AR 83.

PW1825 Power washer

The Campbell-Haulsfield PW1825 Combines Affordability w Cleaning

The 185 pushes out water at 1800 PSI and 1.5 GPM. Not bad stats when you factor in the price, the fact that its’ electric, and it weighs less than most other machines on the market. That means it has extended maneuverability & won’t wear you out carrying it around the yard knocking out projects.

Now it’s on to the people’s choice

 

 

 

 

 

The top rated pressure washer:The Sun Joe SPX 3000

Sun Joe SPX 3000 Pressure Washer

The SunJoe SPX 3000 has the highest ratings with the most reviewsThere’s a reason this machine has a 4.5 star rating on amazon after almost two hundred separate reviews. Actually there are a couple. The first being the PSI this bad boy puts out for an electric run pressure washer. While our top choice topped out at 1900, the SPX tops out at 2030. Combine that with a 1.79 GPM pump & you’ve got one effective power washer. This one weighs a little bit more & costs a little bit more which knocked it out of the top spot, however almost 300 people can’t be wrong about the quality of this machine. Read the reviews here.

It also comes with a a wand, and female hose coupling attachment. This machine is perfect for outdoor jobs that may be a little too big for the AR 83. If you have need some concrete or other porous material cleaned, but don’t want to dump several hundred dollars into a gas powered beast. The SPX is the way to go.

Best Gas Power Washer:Generac 5991 Review

Generac 5991 Pressure Washer

This machine is combines a strong engine with a fast pump.

 

 

 

The Generac 5991 is the bees knees when it comes to gas powered pressure washers. It has a 2.7 GPM pump and a 3000 PSI engine which give massive cleaning power, especially when stacked next to the electric machines we talked about earlier. This machine is welded together on a sturdy frame, easy to move around due to wheels on the set up, it comes with a holster for the wand, a pedal for easy start, and multiple nozzle tips which makes operating it & modulating it’s spray a breeze.

The only draw back to this machine is that it’s a little bit noisy. However, for the ease of use, price, and effectiveness of this machine we are willing to look past that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For those of you that will be out on the job site & need to a deep clean fast here’s the

 

 

Best Commercial power washer: Briggs & Stratton Professional Power Washer

Briggs and Stratton Professional Pressure Washer

The B&G Professional is ideal for the commercial work place.

To put this in the simplest terms possible, this thing does work. It puts out a ridiculous 4000 PSI which is why it is made for the commercial market. This is one of the strongest machines available & comes with an adjustable pump so decide how strong you want your clean to be. It also features a bonus turbo nozzle which makes cleaning & directing your spray a breeze.

Be careful though, this bad boy can do some damage if you aren’t careful.

Now with all of these different machines taking over the top spots for different categories you may find yourself wondering.

 

 

What’s the best brand of power washer?

What’s one brand that I can trust to deliver outstanding value time and time again? The answer simpson power washers. While no simpson machines took the very top spot in the categories we’ve talked about, they’ve certainly been in the top 5 for these categories and more.

Simpson has a strong line up for both commercial and residential use. Simpson washers have been around for nearly 50 years. They are not only reliable machines, but they are backed by reliable people. Not only is it easy to register and protect your simpson product, but they are active on social media which adds another layer of accessibility onto an already open brand. On top of that they continually do give away and contest. There’s nothing better than scoring a free power washer or parts.

How to use a power washer

Using your power washer correctly can truly length the life of the machine by a lot. Pay attention to these steps:

Warning: If you are using a gas powered washer, check to make sure that it has fuel and oil in it. If either run dry you run the risk of throwing money down the drain.

Once you’ve checked all fluids, make sure there is water in the reservoir.

Turn on the machine & ensure that the nozzle is switched to off.

Adjust any pressure settings your machine may have to the appropriate amount for the job you are about to do.

The washer is ready to rock and roll. Make sure anything you don’t want sprayed by high pressure water is either moved or protected.

Whenever you are using a power washer you want to be sure that you are holding the nozzle at a 45 degree angle from the surface being cleaned. If you are holding it straight on, you will be driving dirt and grime further into the material. In addition, holding it at an angle helps prevent gouging(trust me, this can happen especially with more powerful machines)

Start with small areas and use wide overlapping strokes for the most effective clean. Be sure that as you are working you are going from bottom to top to prevent streaking. When you are rinsing off everything you have either knocked loose or pushed around, go from the top down. Hopefully this video will be helpful:

How to Become a Cop

How to Become a Cop

What to expect when becoming a police officer

becoming a police officer can be a long & strenuous process, but at the end of the process you are a gun toting enforcer of the law. You make your community a better place while getting to where a bullet proof vest. During the application process, you will be poked & prodded. During the academy you will yelled at, possible tazered, and told what to do. Get ready. On the other side, though you’ll be in one of the manliest jobs without becoming Chuck Norris, but you could still have awesome facial hair.

Police Mustache

Police Officer Ranks:

Officer –  This is where everybody starts. These officers are the ones patrolling the streets writing tickets, and responding to calls. They typically wear no insignia & can specialize in a number of different fields

Detective – These officers do not usually have insignias either, however they often wear plain clothes which means they do not have to wear the same uniform as patrol officers. While they may not technically be above patrol officers, they have more authority in certain situations & can sometimes handle supervisory roles.

insignia for the rank of sergeant

3 Inverted Chevrons are the Normal Insignia of a Police Sergeant

Sergeant – This rank is typically notated by three inverted chevrons as their insignias. Typically they will be in charge of shifts or smaller units depending on the city. Some cities have even more ranks such as staff sergeant, etc.

Lieutenant – These officers wear the insignia of one gold or silver bar. They typically oversee a certain number of sergeants.

police luitenant insignia

A Single silver or gold bar is the insignia of a police luitenant

 

Captain – These officers have two gold or silver bars typically referred to as ‘railroad tracks’. They are usually in charge of entire police stations or precincts, but can lead smaller units depending on the city.

police captain insignia

Two Gold bars are the insignia of a police captain

Major –  These officers often have a gold or silver oak leaf as their insignia & may supervise police stations or specific parts of the police department of captains

police major insignia

A silver or gold oak leaf is the Insignia of a police major

Colonel – These officers will sometimes where a gold and silver oak leaf or a gold or silver eagle. Most state police agencies maintain this role as the executive role for their department

 

police colonel insignia

A gold or silver eagle are typically the insignia of a police colonel

Commander – Often times have an insignia of a single star. Commanders are often in charge of a group of precincts or whole divisions within a police department.

police commander insignia

A single gold or silver star is typically the insignia of the police commander

Deputy Chief– This role is typically the number two man in the whole police department & reports directly to the police chief.

Assistant Chief– This role is not used in every police department however may be another man that reports to the police chief without having a concrete role or area of responsibility.

Police Chief– This man is the head of the entire police department. He is often seen as the public face of the police department & usually gets the most flak for any decisions concerning budgeting or incidents. This office is usually appointed by the mayor or city council.

The first step in the process is to find which cities, suburbs, and municipalities around you are taking applications. When you are working on this go beyond the major city nearest to you, search for all the small little towns & suburbs as well.

That was a very brief breakdown of police ranks, in case you need more detail, you can read about them here

Steps to Becoming a Police Officer

A very brief very high level of the steps of how to become a police officer are as follows:

  1. Find out who is hiring & Submit an Application
  2. Go through an extensive testing and examination inside and out
  3. Go through the police academy
  4. Graduate and become a police officer

While most cities and towns only require a high school diploma or GED to become a police officer, there are courses you can take in both high school and college that will help. In high school the most helpful ones will be any government classes or communication classes.

Because understanding how your local city government works, will make life much easier when working for the city. Additionally communication classes are good because when you are a police officer clear communication can quickly defuse a situation instead of escalating it. Sometimes it can be the difference between life and death.

Then you need to find out what each town requires. Typically there will be education requirements, physical fitness requirements, and a long examination process. After all they aren’t going to just give you a gun and a badge.

The required education typically range from a high school diploma to either an associates degree or a certain number of college hours. You will need to get your transcripts sent into the police department.

Additionally they will be doing a very thorough background check so make sure you include all of your past jobs. You may need a copy of your past tax records if you’ve ever been self employed or a 1099 worker.

Most cities and towns do require a valid drivers license. It’s OK if you have a few tickets or have ever had your license suspended, just be upfront about any and all of it when you are filling out your application. If you can order a copy of your driving record from your DMV or do it online, that will make the process even easier.

Once the application is submitted with all the necessary paper work & most police departments run a physical fitness test at an early stage. It is of the utmost importance to make this and be on time. One of the best ways to get ready for the physical fitness test is to start doing some form of Crossfit.

Typically there will be a running portion, an obstacle course, and some sort of weight lifting. The running could be anything from a 1.5 mile run to running sprints back and forth across a football field. The idea is to properly simulate situations that an officer of the law may encounter during a shift. This includes foot chases. Police departments do not require a 5 minute mile, but running a mile without stopping or inside 10 minutes is usually expected.

The obstacle course will contain jumping over objects, potentially moving under or through objects as well as environments like stairs and loading docks. These again are typical environments that are common almost everywhere around the country.

In addition to running & obstacles police departments may also require the applicant to demonstrate the ability to move himself and/or an external object. This may be a dummy that must be dragged a certain distance or a sandbag. This is to simulate handling a potential suspect or a helping a wounded person out of harms way.

Once all the physical test is done & candidates have proven their physical fitness they must prove their mental fitness. This usually takes the form of a series of interviews & psychological evaluations.

It is very important throughout the entire process to tell the whole truth. applicants who lie or try to mislead the police department often forget which version they have told which people & get caught by their inconsistencies. Even if it seems incriminating it is important to tell the truth.

One of the first psychological tests is usually a personality inventory that ranges anywhere from 500-900 true or false statements about the applicant. Here is where most people are knocked out. They answer the way they think the police department wants & they lie. These tests are designed by some of the best minds in the country and it is very unlikely that anyone ever truly fools them.

Again the best move is just to be perfectly honest. If you are feeling really nervous here’s a practice one you can take.

After the personality inventory there is usually an interview or series of interviews with a psychologist. These interviews may contain simple canned questions such as ‘how do you like to relax’ or they could ask things that make people uncomfortable such as ‘how would you murder someone if you had the chance’. The goal of this portion is to weed people out who may be unfit or unable to handle the stresses of being a police officer.

Once past the psychological evaluation stage, the next step is a physical evaluation. This is good news! it means that the department wants the applicant & just wants to ensure that they are healthy enough for training & duty.

These physical evaluations typically consist of both hearing & vision tests. As well as blood panels, chest X rays, stress tests, lung capacity tests, drug screening, and a lot of other testing.

This stage exists so that the department has an official record of an applicant’s state of health before beginning duty. That way should any suit or claims be made against the city they have something to reference to measure the validity of it.

Once past this stage you are ready for the academy. Unfortunately it’s rarely like the movie.

Police academies can be anywhere from 12-21 weeks depending on the city.

They have four components that must be completed before you get to join the force. There is an Academic portion, firearms training portion, a field training and physical portion.

During the academy you will learn about modern investigative techniques, legal statutes & how to enforce them. In addition you will learn self defense, how to shoot and clean your weapon, and a lot of other things.

This won’t be a walk in the park. Most academies are 40 hours a week while some have up to 2 hours of physical training a day & 6 hours of academic or other training. That could mean classroom time, range time, lecture time. Anyting. If you can’t complete any portion of the training, you can kiss your dreams of a badge and gun goodbye.

You will also get some field training including how to drive a squad car, write a police report, take down a suspect, the basics of crime scene investigation. Additionally you will probably get pepper sprayed or tazered because police officers usually carry one or both of those. If you are going to carry them, it helps to have an accurate idea of what it feels like so that you will not use it lightly & so that you will be able to function in case something happens like you get some pepper spray in your eye while struggling with a suspect.

Get used to be screamed at and punished. Police academies are similar to military bootcamps. The instructors will pick on the top and bottom performers. so it’s always better to land somewhere in the middle. However, don’t take it personally. They’re doing it to prepare you for one of the world’s most thankless jobs & to keep you alive.

So after several months you’ll graduate & become a cop.

Life After the Academy

Then you go on probation for a year where you can literally be fired for any reason. Well that’s not entirely true, but you get the point. If you screw up, you’re gone. During this year you will be going on different rotating shifts in different precincts. If you are in the top 5 of your class you usually get to pick your precicnt and shift after that year. Otherwise they will be assigned to you.

During the first several years after the academy typically officers are basic patrolman. This means you will be writing tickets for traffic violations, responding to emergency calls, and many other things. However even in this basic position there are opportunities to expand your skill set.

Most police departments have rifle certifications which include getting qualified to shoot and carry AR-15s. Additionally they may send you through things like EMT school, negotiation training, or crisis response training. All of these are great chances to learn and master new skills, and look really good on resume’s

What ‘s a Police officer Salary?

The starting police officer is usually about 35-40k while in training. After that you it depends a lot on the city. Places like Memphis, TN top out at 53K a year for basic patrol officers after 3 years. While cities like Austin TX top out at 90K if you manage to stay on patrol for 16 years.

There will be opportunities for over time as well as special pay including shift differential & holiday pay.

Working hours for police officers are rarely standard. Some do 5 8 hours shifts a week while others may do 4 10 hour shifts or even 3 12 hour shifts. It depends on the department. Additionally if you are part of a special investigation or unit your hours may be dependent on that unit.

If you are going to transfer most police departments require 3 years of work in another department. If you don’t have that, they may put you back through the police academy.

After your initial year of probation you are actually going to have a lot of different career opportunities. You could become a detective, or undercover police officer, or even a swat officer. There are tons of different departements you could work in including narcotics, organized crime, special weapons and tactics, vice. Etc. and a lot more.

How to become a detective

once you have spent time on patrol. You will have the opportunity to join different parts of the police department & attain different ranks. One position you can attain is the position of detective. These positions are usually pretty competitive & much more focused. Instead of writing tickets & responding to calls, you typically handle a certain case load & see cases through to the very end. Whether you are in homicide, special victims (yes just like law and order:SVU), or any other department, this job usually comes with a pay increase & more responsibility. You will have to do things like interrogate witnesses & suspects, piece together information & much more.

How to become a SWAT Officer

SWAT officers are usually thought of as the baddest of the bad. Different cities have different names for these units, but the idea remains the same. These are the guys call when an unusual situation or threat happens. The requirements usually involve really strict physical standards such as:

  • Running a mile and a half in under 10 minutes
  • Being able to climb a 150 ft ladder with no safety gear to catch you
  • Being able to stress shoot with a pistol and shotgun
  • Swim 400 m
  • and more.

Even if you meet the physical requirements there’s no guarantee that you will make it into the training process. If you do manage to make it past the physical requirements, the school is the next step.

Usually this school is anywhere from 4-6 weeks of specialized training designed to make you the baddest of the bad. There will be constant physical training as well as team building and other tests that will push you mentally as well as physically. Once you’ve made it to the other side, you will have some pretty great privileges.

SWAT officers typically get issued a special police vehicle that carries all of their gear. You won’t have to sit behind a desk or be on patrol. Usually you spend your days training, testing new equipment, and preparing for calls. Once a call comes in you have to mobilize.

Here’s a video that shows just a little of what SWAT training is like:

The LAPD also does a great job of breaking down what it takes to become a SWAT officer

How to become an undercover cop

Despite what movies like the departed show you, becoming an undercover cop does not require faking your own death, or pretend losing your job. Occasionally, it usually just involves going on a sting operation & buying drugs from a dealer.

Usually you are assigned to a specific unit(narcotics, internal affairs, etc.) & once you have spent some time there and proven that you know the lay of the land & can handle yourself, you get your chance. Typically it doesn’t involve months of being away from family and friends surrounded by hardened criminals, but sometimes it does. This job can be high stress, but also full of excitement, and very rewarding.

Police benefits

In the same way that your benefits depend on the company you work for, benefits for police often depend on what city you work for. However they typically include the following options:

Retirement: Much like a the military most police forces don’t require a certain age, but a certain number of years of service. For example after 25 years of service in the Memphis Police Department you are eligible for retirement. This retirement can be in the form of contribution into a fund, or can be your typical 401k

Health Care: Because there are certain risks & conditions that police officers face on a daily basis, it can be hard for them to get health insurance on their own. Because of this reason the city usually will provide access to some type of plan that is either specifically for police officer or at the very least makes it easier for the police officer to recieve coverage. Often this health insurance extends into your retirement which is good.

Life Insurance: In a similar vein to health insurance because police officers face danger & special circumstances everyday most cities will include life insurance in their offerings to prospective employees. Usually it’s very good insurance for the mere fact that a city wants to take of any fallen police officers families.

Education incentives: Often times city and academies will pay you for getting more college credit hours. This means that as you are working you can attend classes & get access to an education you may not have been able to afford otherwise. Additionally, some universities may give you a discount for being a law enforcement officers.

Unofficial benefits: Most people are appreciative of the fact that police officers are willing to put their lives on the line for strangers every day. Often time restaurants will give you discounts for eating there and some merchants will as well.

Can a felony keep you from becoming a police officer?

Unfortunately, yes if you have a felony on your record, that may disqualify you from joining the police force. Most departments require what they consider to be an outstanding moral code to be an officer, which means no felons. As much as it sucks those are the consequences of your actions.

If you have your heart set on becoming a police officer & genuinely feel like you have either changed your life, or caught the raw end of a deal with the police, you can try and get your record expunged. However, that is easier said than done.

Learn These Tie Knots and Look Sharp

Learn These Tie Knots and Look Sharp

How to tie a tie as a pro

man with tieHow to tie a tie is one of the most searched things on the internet. Why? Because it’s not something most people do very often. Another reason is that we don’t learn this manly skill in school. Although in my opinion this skill could come in handy later on when reaching adulthood. No worries! If you don’t know how to we’ll learn you below how you can look sharp with a tie. A real man wears a tie when he needs. With this complete resource there’s no excuse anymore to not wear one.

Putting on a tie is something we look for when we need to go to a special event. Of course certain men wear ties day in and out because of their job. The main reason is that we want to look decent. Therefore we will take this item out of our closet. Think about a wedding, funeral and certain other events with dress codes. As a man you can’t show up without wearing this fantastic attribute.

Most of the time we will think about wearing a tie at the last possible time “Ow I need to wear a tie for this event. How do I do this again?” Be smart and look it up in time so you can get to know the most common knots. Make sure you don’t tie it too tight. Otherwise someone will have to give you CPR.
types of neck tie knots
There are many types of tie knots and some are more appropriate for certain events.
We’ll go below into more detail on the types of tie knots and how you can do this yourself. We’ll mention the most popular ones and explain you how to do them.

In the beginning knotting a tie is something that goes often wrong. After a while it will go better and also a lot faster. Soon you will be able to knot a tie without thinking about it anymore. It will be like putting your glasses on.

We’ll also go through the types of ties because there are a lot. You’ll probably find one that you like and really suits you.

What is a tie actually and what is the history behind it?

origin necktie

Croatian Mercenary wearing “Cravate”

The first neckwear was worn by Roman soldiers. They wore it to show they were part of a certain group.

The modern necktie was introduced during the 30 Years’ War by Croatian mercenaries fighting for the French army. The people in Paris were interested in the neckerchiefs that the Croatians wore. The French called it “Cravate” and from there comes the word cravat that we use today.

Between 1800 and 1860 there was more and more interest in how to tie a cravat in the right way. A book called “Neckclothitania” was published. It was like an encyclopedia on how to tie a cravat in a proper way. 14 different knots were mentioned. It was the first time that the word tie was used together with neckwear. The more difficult the knot was, the higher the wealth and prestige that person had.

cravat

Cravat

In 1860 there were already so many knots and neckwear that we won’t go in detail. But during these times (Industrial revolution) people wanted to wear things that were easy to put on. That is when the necktie appeared. They were easy to put on and didn’t get loose quickly.
Since 1920 a lot of changes have happened. But the most prominent change was the wide and length of ties. Until the 1950s ties were around 4 inches wide. But what was the biggest difference was that they were worn a lot shorter than today. The reason for this was that people wore their trousers at the height of their belly button. Luckily this changed. People stopped wearing these high pants and with the introduction of normal pants, longer and wider neckties appeared.

Today, when people talk about a tie, they normally mean the most common one: a necktie. It’s a piece of clothing that men wear around their neck and over their shirt during formal events. It has no functional purpose. We only wear it to look good. And every man looks better with one.

There are of course other ties such as the bow tie and ascot tie which also descended from the cravat.

Did you know? There is an international Necktie Day: 18 October.

Types of ties

There are some variants of ties you could try out:

  • Bowtie
  • Bolo tie
  • Zipper tie
  • Cravat
  • Clip-on tie
  • Ascot tie

Bow Tie

This is a necktie that is quite popular. Most of the time they have a fixed length and are made for a neck with a specific size. The sizes range from 14 inches to 20 inches.

red bow tie

You have 2 main types of bow ties: The regular “self-tie” bow tie and the “ready tied” or”pre-tied” bow tie.

Wearing a ready tied bow tie is something that is not done at certain occasions. But it can come in handy if you don’t know how to tie a bow tie. Most of the time this is worn at less formal events (such as proms) by people who don’t have much experiene yet in bow tying.

Instruction for a bow tieIf you do want to tie it yourself you can choose between the bat wing and thistle ends. Just wear the one that you would prefer. Both of these have double ends. There are some other double end bow ties but we won’t go into these.

There are also single end bow ties but these are really are. Then only one end has the batwing or thistle shape, which is much more difficult to knot in the correct way.

On the right side you see how you need to tie a bow tie to get a perfect result. Follow these instructions carefully and you look very classy in no time. Just try it out, it is easier than it looks on the image and once you get the hang of it it will be just a breeze.

Bolo Tie

A bolo tie is a special variant. It’s often called a bola tie or shoestring necktie. The fabric that is used is a cord or braided leather. It has metal ends which have only decorative purposes. An aiglet is used to hold the string tigh around your neck.

bolo tie

You can make this type of tie yourself very easily. You can find cords and tips in local jewelry stores. For the ornament (aiglet) you can use whatever you want. Most of the time people will use pin’s, coins, polished stones, netsukes or other flat objects.

Zipper Tie

Zipper tieEver heard about this one? It is just incredible. If you have an appointment and need to knot a tie very fast it is the ideal solution. (Actually you don’t knot it) For example you could be in car and still you can use this kind of tie to get a perfect knot. You just zip it up and your ready to go.

How to put it on?

  • Pop up your collar of our shirt
  • Unzip the zipper tie so you can start using it
  • Throw it over your neck and tighten it
  • Zip it up
  • Put your collar back down
  • You ready

Each time you will have the perfect knot and perfect length. It couldn’t be easier than this. The zipper is located at the back of the tie. It runs down the back of the necktie. Don’t forget to open the zipper before untying.

It’s a modern invention that really fits our fast pacing society. Every man should have at least one of these in his closet. I know I couldn’t live without it anymore.

Cravat

cravat

Cravat

The cravat is the predecessor of the current necktie that millions of men wear day in and out. It has a military origin. It was an attribute of the Croation Mercenaries who fought along the French. The people from Paris where very into this piece of garment and gave it the name “Cravate”.

It’s something that is not anymore worn except in special places such as the House of Lords in England and it was also very common for judges.

Clip-on Tie

clip on tieA clip on tie can be a bow tie or regular neck tie which is permanently tied. It is very easy to use. It has a dimple below the knot of the tie and you lock it to the front of the collarof your shirt by using a clip. These clip are mostly made out of metal. For clip on bow ties most of the time a band is used that can be tightened around the neck with a hook and eye.

Why you should use it?

  • You don’t like the standard neckties
  • You are not comfortable tying this yourself
  • You can’t get strangled this way because it’s a clip-on. In certain profession this is recommended for this reason instead of wearing a regular one.
  • You can put it on faster than a normal necktie

Ascot tie

This is another kind of neckwear that is not so much used anymore nowadays. It is a narrow neckband with wings. It is a formal tie that is folded over and fastened with a stickpin. It also originated from the cravat. Most of the time it is made out of woven silk.

ascot tie

The more casual form of the ascot tie is also called the day cravat. This one is made out of less thick silk. This type was popular in the sixties and seventies. Today we see it only sporadicly. It’s most seen in sports such as golf or in the military as part of a uniform.

When should you wear it

A tie is not something that is not worn every day by most people. It’s also something that only adults wear. However there are today some ties specially made for children.

There are certain events for which we wear a tie:

  • Wedding
  • Funeral
  • Job interview
  • Job specific (for example banker)
  • Part of uniform (school, military, stewards,..)

There are also people nowadays that wear them loose around the neck as a casual item. This looks less sophisticated but it’s a new rage today with the youngsters.

Tie knots: What and how

There are many different tying knots. The tie knot styles can range from classic knots to more adventurous knots. It’s up to you to decide which style fits you (and you clothes) best. But at least wearing a tie will already give you a bit more class.

types of neck tie knots

Currently there are 4 necktie knots which are widely known and used around the world. These are the 4 common knots:

  1. Four-in-hand knot: Classic knot style
  2. Windsor knot: Classic knot style
  3. Half-Windsor knot: Classic knot style
  4. Pratt knot: Modern knot style

Below we’ll handle these knots in more detail and explain how you can do it yourself.

Four-in-hand knot

This is one of the 4 most popular knots for ties. It supposedly comes from the Four-in-Hand club in London, England. It is said that members began to wear this neckwear and made it popular. It is also called the schoolboy knot because it refers to the simplicity by which you can do it yourself. It has already been used a long time.

Advantage/disadvantage? It is the easiest one to learn amongst the 4 most common knots. However it is an assymetric knot and doesn’t look good on every collar.

Where to use it? Suitable for most events, but not all. Don’t use it on shirts with a narrow collar.

How is it done?

Step 1 Four in hand knotStep 1: Put the tie around your neck with the wide end on your right. Make sure the broad end is around 12 inches lower than the narrow end.

 

 

Step 2 Four in hand knot

Step 2: Fold the wide end behind the narrow one. So go back with the broad end underneat the narrow end.

 

 

Step 3 of the four in hand knotStep 3: Bring the broad end horizontally over the narrow end. So the broad end is now back in front of the narrow end.

 

 

Step 4 of the four in hand knotStep 4: The last step is the most difficult one. Take the wide end and bring it behind the narrow end while bringing it over the top of the knot from behind. Hold the knot loosely and bring the broad through the loop in front. Now you hold the narrow end tight and  slide the knot up until it fits well.

Or if you prefer a step by step video:

The half-Windsor knot

This is another one of the 4 most used tie knots. It is also called the single windsor knot. When using this method you will get triangular knot. The half-windsor comes from the Windsor with the sole difference that it only goes around the loop on 1 side instead of both sides.

Advantage/disadvantage?  It is a symetric knot and thus looks good on every collar. However it is a bit more difficult than the four-in-hand.

Where to use it? Suitable for most occasions. You can use it on shirts with a narrow or broad collar.

How is it done?

Step 1 Half WindsorStep 1: Put the tie around your neck with the wide end on your right side. Make sure the broad end is around 12 inches lower than the narrow end when you start.

 

 

Step 2 Half WindsorStep 2: Fold the broad end behind the narrow end. Put the broad end underneat the narrow end.

 

 

Step 3 Half WindsorStep 3: Bring the wide end under the knot to the left side. Continue folding the tie over the sides of the triangle.

 

 

Step 4Half WindsorStep 4: Bring the wide end over the knot horizontally.

 

 

 

Step 5 Half Windsor

Step 5: Take the broad end and bring it over the top of the knot from behind. Hold the narrow end tight and  slide the knot up until it is fastened well. Congratz you got your first half-Windsor.

 

Or if you prefer a step by step video:

The Windsor knot

This is maybe the most known knot of them all. It was introduced by Edward the 8th who invented it while he was Duke of Windsor. Hence the name Windsor knot.

Advantage/disadvantage? It is a symmetric knot and thus looks good on every collar. It was originally more for the peerage. You will look classy for sure. It is a large knot and thus looks well on wide collar shirts. On the other side it is not suited for narrow collar shirts. If the material of which the tie is made from is too thick then the resulting knot will be too large. So make sure to use thin ties.

Where to use it? Suitable for high class events such as business and political gatherings.

How is it done?

There are a lot of steps to follow before you have a Windsor knot. When you’re in front of a mirror and right-handed these are the steps to follow:

Step 1: When you start the wide end of the tie is on your right side and the narrow end is on your left side.
Step 2: Cross the broad end over the thin end.
Step 3: Bring the wide end under the narrow end to the center of the knot.
Step 4: Fold the broad end over to the right.
Step 5: Fold the broad end underneath the narrow end to the left side.
Step 6: Bring the broad end up to the center of the knot.
Step 7: Go from under the knot to the right side.
Step 8: Fold the broad end over the front to the left side.
Step 9: Stick the wide end under the narrow end and go to the center.
Step 10: Bring the broad end down and pass through the loop in front and tighten the knot.
Step 11: Now you can use a hand to pull the thin end down and another hand to push the knot up until it is in the center of the collar.

It might be easier by just following this step by step video which will explain how it is done in detail:

The Pratt knot

This is also one of the 4 most use knots in tying. It is a modern knot and was invented in 1989 by Jerry Pratt, who worked at the US Chamber of Commerce. It is also called the Shelby or Pratt-Shelby knot. It is peculiar because the starting position is reverse side out.

Advantage/disadvantage? It is an easy one and will give a symmetric knot of medium thickness. The Pratt tie knot uses less length that the Windsor and Half-Windsor. So it is suited for short ties.

Where to use it? Suitable for most occasions. You can wear it on any shirt.

How is it done?

Step 1 Pratt KnotStep 1: Hold the tie inside out and put the tie around your neck with the broad end on your right. Put the wide end over the front to the left side.

 

 

Step 2 Pratt KnotStep 2: Bring the wide end up to the center and down to the left.

 

 

 

Step 3 Pratt KnotStep 3: Bring the broad end horizontally over the knot to the right side.

 

 

 

Step 4 Pratt KnotStep 4: From the right side you bring the broad end under the narrow part to the center. Then you bring the broad end down and pass it through the loop in front. Then you can make sure it fits well by holding the narrow end moving the knot up until it sits in the center of the collar.

You could also look at this video on making a Pratt knot:

Some other knots

There are some other less common knot styles. We’ll name a few of them below.
Some are more classic knots:

  • Simple or oriental knot
  • The Prince Albert
  • The Kelvin
  • The bow tie

Others are more modern or adventurous knots:

  • The Eldredge
  • The Trinity
  • The Murrell
  • The Van Wijk
  • The Balthus

Probably, there are a couple of others. If we forgot some of them, feel free to let us know.

Tips & Tricks you can use

tips and tricksA lot of people want to wear a tie but aren’t really confident in knotting or know to little about it. It’s important to know that everyone can learn this and that each time you do this again it will be better. So eventually you’ll get the hang of it and become a real expert.

Below is some great advice for men that are still beginners at this all:

  • When doing this, do it in front of a morror. It will be so much easier if you can see yourself while doing this.
  • There are ties in different sizes: long ties, short ties, wide ties, thin ties. Try them all out and see which ones most appeal to you.
  • As mentioned above  there are different types of knots you can try out. There are casual ones and more formal ones. It depends on the event which one would be best.
  • The wide end of the tie should be double as long as the narrow end when starting to knot a tie.
  • You can make a dimple in your tie by holding the top blade on both sides and then pull it down until the top blade starts to become tighter. Press the bottom of the knot with your thumb and forefinger into a V-shape and a dimple will form.
  • You can use special terms to remember how you have to do the tying. For example the word Ouat means over, under, arround and through.
  • Make sure you are shaven properly. Having too much facial hair and wearing a tie is not a good combination.
How to get CPR certified

How to get CPR certified

What can you do as first aid

first aidWe men have tried to be the lifesaver of our group when we were still living caves. Today we will need more than just hunting skills to safes lives around us. Be a modern lifesaver and learn how to give first aid.

As a first aid you can provide initial care to people who have become ill or have inured themselves. Most of the time when an accident happens there is not an expert present. In those cases people that are certified first aid providers will have to give initial care to the person(s) who need it.

Most of the time these things are simple things like applying bandages. But sometimes these can be potential life-saving techniques that are applies by first aid providers such as CPR. Below we’ll go into more detail about this.
3 aims first aid
3 Aims of first aid:

  • Preserve lives: For example giving CPR to a patient.
  • Prevent further harm: For example when there is a fire and someone is unconscious you will try to move away the victim to a safer location. You can do this by applying the Rautek which you learn in first aid class.
  • Promote recovery: For example when you apply a plaster to a small wound.

Six basic principles of first aid:

  • In case of an emergency: Stay calm
  • Avoid contamination: Wear plastic gloves
  • Act as a first aid provider: When you’re needed, make sure you do your part
  • Take care of the comfort of the victim: For example protect the victim from cold by giving a blanket
  • Give psychosocial first aid: Take into account the emotions of the victim and those around him. Present yourself, talk to the person, listen to him or her, etc.
  • Take into account the emotional reactions you will have afterwards: it could be you ask yourself “Did I do enough? Did I do it correct?” You will not always be able to save someone’s life so it can be difficult to handle this.

There are 4 steps in First Aid:

  • Concern for safety: Make sure the victim is safe. For Example use Rautek to move the victim in case of a fire
  • Assess the condition of the victim: Check if the person is still conscious. Make sure the airway is open. Check if he or she breaths normally. If the victim is unconscious but breaths normal you should put him or her in a recovery position.
  • Alert the emergency services: In case the situation is severe contact the emergency services (call 911)
  • Provide further first aid: In this 4th step we sometimes have to provide CPR if the victim isn’t breathing anymore. We will talk about giving CPR in the text below.

What is CPR

giving CPRCPR stands for Cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It is reanimating someone by breathing air into their lungs and giving compressions. Resuscitation is actually the combination of compressions and respiration.

Giving CPR to adults, children and babies is almost the same. There are some little differences that are important and because of this we will handle resuscitation of adults, infants and babies separately.

Why do we give CPR?

what ifOxygen is vital. Our blood delivers oxygen to all organs in our body. When the heart stops pumping, the circulatory of blood stops. With a cardiac arrest a shortage of oxygen appears in all vital organs.

Our brain cells are very sensitive to an absence of oxygen. They can’t be without it for longer than a couple of minutes before they start to die away.

A victim like this will lose consciousness very quickly, stop breathing and will die eventually. That’s why you need to start as fast as possible with resuscitation.

A lot of studies have shown positive results when CPR is performed immediately. Although the survival chances are small when someone has a cardiac arrest, they increase enormously when bystanders help out immediately.

What if I perform CPR incorrectly

A lot of people wonder what if I do it wrong? Will I be sued? Normally unless you’re a real physician or they can proof gross negligence from your side while performing rescue efforts you won’t be sued. You’re protected by the Good Samaritan Law.

Resuscitation of an adult

resuscitation adultWhen you notice that an adult person has lost consciousness the first thing you do is ask someone for help.

Make sure you turn him on his back and make sure the airway isn’t blocked. De respiratory can halt when someone is unconscious because the muscles loose tension. Because of this the tong can fall backwards and temper the breathing.

In this case you tilt the head backwards. At the same time you put 2fingertips under the person his chin. Don’t press in the soft part of the chin because this can make breathing more difficult. Put them on the hard part of the chin.

  • Now you have made the airway clear. Now you will have to do an evaluation of the airway. Hold the head as before and put your cheek close to the mouth of the person. Look at the chest and see if it goes up and down
  • Listen to the mouth and nose to hear breathing sounds
  • Feel with your cheek if there is an airflow coming from the victim

Check for at least 10 seconds to be sure. If it is confirmed that the victim doesn’t breath anymore you will need to perform CPR.

Make sure you alarm the emergency services (or let someone else do this) and that you let someone get an AED device if there is one.

Now you start with the CPR steps:

  • Put the heel of your hand on the middle of the chest of the victim. Put the heel of your other hand on top of your first hand. Hook the fingers together and make sure they’re pull up when giving compressions. This is to make sure you don’t put pressure on the ribs.
  • Make sure your shoulders are right above the chest of the patient. Push with stretched arms the sternum 2 to 2,5 inches down.
  • Be sure that after every compression the chest comes up fully. This way the heart can fill itself again with blood.
  • Give 30 compressions in a rhythm of around 100 per minute.
  • Next you need to give mouth to mouth for about a second and this 2 times. Make sure that the head is tilted back and that the chin is tilted up.
  • You keep your hand on the forehead of the patient so that it keeps being stretched and the airway keeps being clear. Take your thumb and forefinger of your other hand and squeeze the nose closed.
  • Now you blow air into the mouth of the patient during one second.
  • Check that the chest goes up when blowing air into the lungs of the patient.
  • Make sure the chest goes down again and give a second respiration.
  • Both respirations may not take more than 5 seconds all together.
  • You alternate these compressions and respirations until the experts arrive or the victim becomes conscious again and starts breathing and opening his eyes or until you are really too tired to continue.
  • When and AED is available you continue the resuscitation with an AED.

The compressions will make sure the blood will be pushed out of the heart. So you will create a blood circulation. The mouth to mouth will provide the circulating blood with enough oxygen. This way the vital organs and brain cells will still receive oxygen.

Tip: For people that don’t like giving mouth to mouth or just for contamination reasons it is best practice to use a CPR mask.

Below is a video on how to give CPR:

Resuscitation of children

resuscitation childResuscitating children is almost the same process as with adults. It’s not so much the age that counts, but the stature of the person. So if it’s a 14 year old boy that has the same posture like an 18 year old guy then just proceed as you would do with an adult.
Use your good judgment. Normally we speak about kids from the age of 1 until they reach puberty.

The technique for CPR of children is almost the same. But in this case you only use 1 hand on the middle of the chest instead of 2 as is the case for adults. Push the sternum until one third of the chest depth. The other hand you keep on the forehead of the infant while performing CPR so that the airway is clear the whole time.

If mouth to mouth isn’t possible you can give mouth to nose respiration. You can also use an AED for children.

Performing CPR on a baby

resuscitation babyWe speak about a baby from a newborn until the first year of age.

We perform the following CPR technique with infants:

  • Put your hand on the forehead of the baby and tilt it to the back
  • Keep your thumb and forefinger free so you can squeeze the nose tight when necessary
  • Put two fingertips from your other hands under the hard part of the chin of the infant
  • Tilt the chin up now
  • Now the airway should be clear
  • You check if the baby still breaths by performing the same checks as with adults (see above)
  • If this isn’t the case then you need to perform resuscitation. But with babies you use put 2 fingers in the middle of the chest. Push with those 2 fingertips the sternum at least a third of the chest depth deep.

When giving respirations it can be more practical to put your mouth over the nose and mouth of the infant. This way no air can disappear.

What is an AED

AED deviceIn the ideal case we combine resuscitation with the use of an AED. It stands for an Automated External Defibrillator. This electronic device is small and portable and often available in public locations or work environments.

It will diagnose the cardiac arrhythmias in a victim and will try to treat them by defibrillation. It will try to stop the arrhythmia so the heart can beat again at an effective rhythm.

How to use it?

  • When starting CPR ask a bystander to get an AED ASAP.
  • You already begin with performing CPR.
  • When the AED is next to you, you stop when the CPR series end and put it on and listen to the instructions. It has simple audio and visual commands which are easy to follow.
  • You will need to attach it to the chest of the patient. And make sure not to put the pads over a nipple or over metal things like piercings. Also don’t put it on a pacemaker. The machine will guide you through this process.
  • It will check the patient and if necessary it will give an electric shock. It will tell you upfront when it will give one and it will ask you to stand back. The use of an AED will increase the chances of successful resuscitation.

The use of an AED is something you will learn in First aid classes, CPR classes and Basic Life Support level CPR.

CPR Classes & Certification

certificationThere are a lot of classes to choose from and certifications you can get. There are 2 big organizations that give CPR training in the United States of America:

These are both reputable CPR training and first aid certification organizations.

American Heart Association

American Heart AssociationThis is the largest and oldest voluntary organization on American soil devoted to fighting cardiovascular diseases and strokes. It was founded in 1924 by six heart specialists. Their mission is to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. They try to improve the life of all Americans by providing public health education.

If you want to learn resuscitation then AHA CPR might just be your thing. They’re the leader in CPR education training in the US.

If you look here you’ll see that they offer CPR courses, as well as first aid and emergency cardiovascular care (ECC).

They have a wide variety of lifesaving courses in many different locations. You can choose between classroom training and online courses. The course style you prefer is up to you. But according to us it’s best to train your lifesaving skills in a real classroom where you will try giving CPR on manikins.

They do a lot more than just giving CPR training. Also more broad first aid training is part of their educating program. They also offer ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and BLS (Basic Life Support) training. Besides that they are also involved in research and act also as caregiver. They give tips and advice on their website on how to live healthy.

The Red Cross

American Red CrossThe Red Cross is an organization that was founded in 1863. Four nations formed an organization that later on became the Red Cross. Back then their aim was to aid the sick and wounded soldiers in the field.

However today the Red Cross is an international organization. The American Red Cross (ARC) was founded in 1881 by Clara Barton. The ARC helps with emergencies, disasters and provides education inside the United States.

On their website you can find a wide variety of classes. There is a first aid, CPR and AED for Lay Responders training program available for those who are interested.
It looks clearer than the courses of the American Heart Association. If you’re a novice on their site it’s difficult to find out which first aid course you should best follow.

And best of all is that the Red Cross provides some course free of charge. This includes Be Red Cross Ready which entails first aid and CPR.

Free classes & online cpr trainings

learning cprThere are a bunch of free classes around. However is it worth it? Think about the quality of the classes. Isn’t it better to follow a training where you g have learned a lot and can get your certification in the end.

Free doesn’t mean better, keep that in mind. One of the sites that provide such a so called free training is first aid web. The trainings are available through their website, however to get your CPR Card and CPR certification you need to pay.

They also provide Basic First Aid (BFA) next to CPR.

online cpr classesOf course it’s better to know something about this all than nothing. On the other hand there is only so much you can learn by looking at a video. If you really want to train your skillset to save lives then follow a real training in a classroom instead of online sitting behind your pc.

How can you learn something if you don’t do it? You need to use a manikin so you can at least know how it feels and to learn how you can do it better. Most people don’t have a CPR manikin at home so it’s better to just follow a training in a classroom. Also other things will be discussed such as the use of a CPR mask which is more difficult to use correctly than most people believe it to be.

Different kinds of CPR classes

There are a lot of different CPR classes. These classes are targeted to their audience. Common people do not get the same training as paramedics. Knowing which level of CPR training you need is the first thing you’ll need to decide. We’ll go through them below:

Advance Cardiac Life Support

ACLSThis is a set of interventions to threat a cardiac arrest and other life-threatening emergencies. However in this training you don’t use and AED anymore but you will read and interprete an electrocardiogram yourself and make decisions on giving a shock based on the monitor.

This is a more advanced course and is not aimed at lay rescuers but at healthcare professionals who participate in the management of cardiopulmonary arrest or other cardiovascular emergencies.

Basic Life Support

BLSThis is a training aimed at professional rescuers hence it is also called CPR for professional rescuers. It is a basic skillset to save lives. It promotes the ABC which stands for Airway, Breathing and Circulation.
However the AHA promotes CAB because it emphasizes the importance of compressions while doing CPR.
If you’re planning on working in the medical field this is the training you will want to follow for sure.

Pediatric Advanced Life Support

PALS is aimed at healthcare providers who respond to emergencies in infants or children. These can be physicians, nurses, paramedics or other professionals.

People who enrol for this course will have to do a written exam and skills test. At the end they will receive a PALS course completion card.

First aid classes: Adult, infant and child CPR for lay rescuers

first aid cpr classThis is the training you will need. The AHA organizes Heartsaver Courses where you will learn how to use and AED and perform CPR. At the end of this program you will receive a Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED Course Compeltion Card.

They also offer a family and friends CPR class. This is the training you are looking for amongst all the variety there is available. You can choose between a classroom based training or one that is self-directed through a personal kit.

Also the Red Cross offers a first aid, CPR and AED training. However this is always classroom based. At the end of all this your get a participation card for following the classroom based pogram.

CPR Renewal

renewal cprTaking a CPR class only 1 time isn’t enough. Studies have shown that more than half of the people who had their CPR certification didn’t pass the skilltest after a year.

Therefore after 2 years CPR certification expires and you need to renew it. This is needed because we don’t use this skillset every day and thus after 2 years we don’t always remember every step anymore. At the time of need you will have to act fast, so there’s no time to think about what was the correct procedure to perform CPR.

Also it could be that certain guidelines changed over time. So recertification can also be important to be up to date with the new rules. Normally you will have to do the tests again in person. This is certainly the case with the AHA or the American Red Cross. It takes a bit of time, but think about the life you could potentially save.

History of the Typewriter: Slow to Start

typing dream

In Awe of Technology

A typewriter is a mechanical writing tool, usually equipped with pushbuttons with which characters can be pressed onto paper.

The concept of the typewriter dates back to 1714, but was not a commercial succes until 1870.

It’s development and acceptance has been a bumpy process, but the device has left a definite mark on the cultural heritage of many people. Its influence is still visible in the functional aspects of modern writing technology.

Who invented the typewriter?

The English claim that it was Henry Mill who invented the typing machine in 1714.

Henry received the first typewriter patent from Queen Anne for “an artificial machine or method for the impressing or transcribing of letters … whereby all writings whatsoever may be engrossed in paper or parchment so neat and exact as not to be distinguished from print … the said machine or method may be of great use in settlements and publick records, the impression being deeper and more lasting than any other writing, and not be erased or counterfeited without manifested discovery.”

As there exist no drawings or models of Mills machine, the patent is the only proof of his work. This was the first in a long line of around 112 patented pre typewriter designs, almost all of them by Europeans.

The Italians are of the opinion it was their countryman Pellegrino Turri who fabricated the first typewriter in 1808. His fellow countryman Giuseppe Ravizaa produced various models between 1837 and 1855. The French see Xavier Progin as the orginal inventor, with his “Plum Typografique” in 1837. Austrians believe Peter Mitterhofer was the father of the writing machine, and the Russians claim M. Alissoff deserves creator credit.

The United States however coined William Austin Burt the first person to fabricate and use a (wooden) typographer prototype, with which he wrote a letter to his wife. The writing process was slower than longhand writing, and the prototype perished in a fire, which killed any potential for succes.

Christopher Sholes and the first practical typewriter

Remington

Remington

While there are many different opinions on the identity of the first inventor of the typewriter, there is hardly any debate who designed the first typewriter that was taken into mass production: Christopher Latham Sholes, Carlos Glidden and Samuel W. Soule invented the first practical typewriter in 1868.

This team of engineers worked together in a small workshop in Milwaukee. In 1876 they sold the patent to their model to E. Remington and Sons, producers of weapons and sowing machines at the time. The first commercial typewriter, Model 1, was manufactured by Remington on the 1st of march in Ilion, New York.

Here are two examples of the patents Sholes registered:

During the 1880’s many different types of typewriters were designed, but the model we know today as a typical typewriter was the Underwood. This version was invented by F. X. Wagner and produced by the Wagner and Underwood Company.

Underwood nr. 5

Underwood nr. 5

Not an overnight succes

The typewriter arrived silently into the public world. As the New York Times recalled later: “ The advent of the first writing machine was not announced in cable dispatches and newspaper headlines. It slipped into existence quietly, timidly, unobtrusively, with an indifferent world to face.” This may have been because the product was associated with work rather than social life.

Initially typewriters were also slow sellers.  One reason given was that many professionals felt typing would appear rude to potential clients, as there would be no personal touch. Once it became apparent the efficiency of office work could greatly increase with the use of mechanical typing, the machines gained popularity in work environments, and a new profession was born: that of typist.

Typists

Ad targeted at typists

The Development of the QWERTY Layout

Initially most manufacturers used their own order of keys. The arms with the characters got stuck regularly however, because the most frequently used characters were close together.

Sholes and Glidden then designed the QWERTY layout, in which these keys were far apart. The name stems from the first 6 letters of the top row. This system, based on an ideal positioning of the most frequently used keys, is still in use in the western world.

Another version of the reasoning behind this layout is that salesmen could very easily type in the word “typewriter” for prospects, to demonstrate the speed of producing text with a typewriter. It has also been rumored that Sholes’ intention in creating the QWERTY layout was to slow down the typist deliberately so that the flaws in his typewriter were never noticed.

A selection of various models of typewriters

As typewriters became widely used, many different models were produced by manufacturers. Below are some examples to illustrate the wide range of typewriter designs and features.

Royal Bar-Lock. Est. 1910

 barlockThis typewriter had a double keyboard. Without the switch key, that was developed by Remington in 1878, typewriters needed two keyboards. One set for the lowercase characters and one for the capital letters. Because of the location of the levers it was very difficult for the typist to read what was being pressed in the printed.

Multiplex. 1919

multiplexHammond made a lot of innovating typewriters. On the Multiplex various fonts could be printed. On the typewriter the slogan “For All Nations and Tongues” was imprinted. Usually the different fonts were structured in 3 rows, but sometimes in 4, for which a second switch key was needed.

Lettera 32. Est. 1960 

letteraMarcello Nizzoli was de first and most influential product designer at Olivetti. In the 40ies and 50ies he was mostly focused on office supplies, including typewriters. This Lettera 32 is based on his portable model, the Lettera 22.

Samsung SQ-3000.  Est. 1990 

samsungThe Samsung is a typical example of a hybrid writer that combined a compact electrical typewriter with data memory. On the small screen one line of text was displayed before it was printed. These types of models became widely popular in the 80ies, until they were driven off by the introduction of the personal desktop computer.

The Sound of History

A very different impression of the developement of typewriters can be experienced in this amazing performance by Michael Winslow aka Man of 10,000 Sound Effects, in 2010:

The “End” of Typewriters

For over hundred years the typewriter remained a huge success. There were improvements to increase speed, correct errors, combine different characters in one key and to make typing less noisy. The device was an important tool for everything that had to be written.

Around the 1930s the portable typewriters arrived, and electrical versions were developed. The portable typewriters were mostly used by sales representatives, journalist and army clerks. These were light, more fragile and produces low quality typing.

By 1961 the mechanical versions of typewriters were mostly out of use, and with the introduction of the personal computers in the nineties the mechanical typewriter quickly disappeared out of daily use. Till the invention of the computer the typewriter was an essential tool in office places, and the typewriter itself has influenced the design and functionality of computers.

The Rebirth of Typewriters

Though newer writing technology offers many benefits like time-saving auto-correction and faster and easier typing, there are some reasons to consider switching back to a mechanical typewriter, for example:

  • they are distraction free
  • they challenge a user to be more efficient and aware of their errors
  • they give a richer sensory experience which connects you closely to the creative process

source: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-20410364

There are many established and upcoming writers who prefer using an old typewriter. Prices however are skyrocketing as they are no longer produced, and are becoming quite popular among collectors.

Not only do people collect typewriters for their beautiful classic appearance and place in industrial history, but also for the famous books and plays that have been created on typewriters.

**Update: In November 2014 Angelina Jolie gave a very special marriage gift to husband Brad Pitt. She was able to acquire the typewriter previously owned by Ernest Hemingway. On this 1926 Underwood model Hemingway wrote his famous For Whom the Bell Tolls, and it was the last typewriter he used before committing suicide.

Angelina bought the machine from collector and police chief Steve Soborroff, for the price of 250.000 dollars. (Source:  TMZ, http://www.tmz.com/2014/11/08/angelina-jolie-brad-pitt-wedding-gift-ernest-hemingway-typewriter/)

Other celebrities and well-known writers that love and use typewriters are:

    • Martin Amis
    • J.K. Rowling
    • Tom Hanks
    • Tom Wolfe
    • Danielle Steel
    • P.J. O’Rourke

(source: http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/gallery/2014/nov/05/typewriters-and-their-owners-famous-authors-at-work-in-pictures and http://mashable.com/2014/02/15/modern-writers-technology/)

 

Typewriter art

The first typed manuscript was Life by Mark Twain in 1883. Besides being used for writing literature and movie and theater scripts, the typewriter has also inspired composers to create musical pieces with the typing tool as instrument. For example:

The American composer Leroy Anderson composed the concert The Typewriter, with a typewriter as instrument:

 

Another musical piece involving a typewriter is the Ballet Parade by Erik Satie:

 

And finally Concert for typewriter in D by the Estonian rock band In Spe, 1984:

 

Books on Typewriters

To find out more about the history of typewriters, visit your local library and check out these books:

  • Typewriter Topics, The Typewriter: An Ilustrated History, : Dover, 2000.Adler, M.A. , Antique Typewriters: From Creed to QWERTY, : Schiffer, 2007.
  • Beeching, W. A. , A Century of the Typewriter, : Heinemann, 1974.
  • Darren Wershler-Henry, The Iron Whim: A Fragmented HIstory of Typewriting, : Cornell University Press, 2007.
  • Current, R.N. , The typewriter (A history of the Sholes & Gidden), Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1954