The Long Riders' Guild

Pocket Typewriter linked to Long Riders


At first glance one may wonder how qualified were the two young men who set off from a Texas border town bound for Mexico City in 1931.

Joseph Goodwin was a Yankee with an itchy foot and a taste for peril. His companion, Robert Horiguichi, was the sophisticated, multi-lingual son of an imperial Japanese diplomat. To say these two mismatched friends were unprepared for the deserts, quicksand and brigands they encountered in the Mexican wilderness would be a mild understatement.  In one particularly harrowing episode, they were surrounded, shot, and nearly kidnapped by an armed band of Mexican bandits.

Goodwin’s book, Through Mexico on Horseback, recounts how before leaving Texas the amateur adventurers had procured what they believed were all the necessities for equestrian explorers, including “a canteen, an old pistol, and a typewriter to chronicle our escapades.”

The idea that Goodwin and Horiguichi, who had both just graduated with journalism degrees in America, could carry a typewriter in a saddlebag has always seemed unlikely, even fanciful.

Yet thanks to new information uncovered by Kris de Decker, editor of Low Tech magazine, Goodwin’s claim to have filed stories from the saddle now appears to be based on forgotten facts. A pocket typewriter (right), known as the vyrotyp, “was introduced in 1914 for use in the trenches on the battlefield or on horseback.”



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