What are the stories behind our storytelling tools?

1. “Ungumming the Keys.” (B.J. Hollars, The Rumpus, September 2014)

The author purchases a typewriter engraved with mysterious initials and dives into the pasts of its potential previous owners.

2. “Diaries and Dictaphones.” (Rachel Sykes, The Toast, July 2013)

Instead of a notebook, the author uses a dictaphone to capture parts of her and her friends’ lives.

3. “Made in New Jersey: General Pencil Focuses on Artists to Keep 100-Year-Old Company in Business.” (Laurie Petersen, This Built America, August 2014)

“What we do is dirty,” says Jim Weissenborn who at 76 is “CEO on call” to help out when and where needed. “But we bring expression into the world.”

4. “The Virtual Moleskine.” (Adrienne Raphel, New Yorker, April 2014)

Take a peek inside Moleskine’s fluid history as it attempts to maintain relevance in a digital age.

Photo: Jose Camões Silva