A Brief History of My Typewriters (part 1)
Too Many Typewriters
For Christmas, my mother-in-law gave me a typewriter. Not just any typewriter, but an old one. I’ve been collecting these obsolescent hunks of metal for several years now, though my mania has tapered off quite a bit in the last year.
I love the look of classic typewriters, and the functionality. Most of them have been sitting ignored in attics for at least a couple of decades, and all they need is a new ribbon to start transferring words from my brain to a blank piece of paper. At least that’s true of the manuals–electrics are more temperamental, much like their computerized descendants. But if the power went out forever, those old manuals would keep spitting out the words with only a minimum of TLC.
My Christmas gift from my wife was a desk with a hidden compartment for the typewriter. While digging through the closet to find a machine to test out the hideaway desk, I discovered a typewriter that I’d forgotten about buying. Clearly, I needed to do something with all of these things packed away in the closet. The downside of collecting typewriters is that they are too big to all stay on display. So I decided to take pictures of them, and write up a short description of how they came into my possession and why I give a damn.
During the point of my greatest interest, I joined two Yahoo groups: the portable typewriter forum and Typewriters, both of which are great resources for amateur typewriter repairers and aficionados. Based on the messages on those groups, I realize that I do not have that many typewriters for a collector. Relatively. My thirteen machines are a modest collection. But they are still about twelve too many for a sane person.