Disappearing typewriters

Back when I was in graduate school (let’s just say it was a really long time ago), a local typewriter repair shop closed for lack of business, and as someone who’d actually used typewriters (albeit the “new” electric ones), I remember being quite nostalgic about it. John even brought home one of the stores’s 1970s-era typewriters, which unfortunately hasn’t survived our many moves around the country.

I got nostalgic all over again reading this New York Times article profiling another repair shop that is closing this week. I’d thought, way back in grad school (okay, it was the 1990s), that we were seeing what had to be one of the last typewriter repair shops ever — and here we are, in 2013, and they’re still around. And, of course, still closing. But as the article suggests, the fact that these stores have been around for so long are thanks to the writers who just can’t let go of their beloved typewriters; Woody Allen and Francis Ford Coppola are among this West Village repair shop’s clients.

Now that we’re done moving all around the country, we’ve started up our collection again and have 10 beautiful machines, most from the 1900s, with one from the late 1800s. Most of them are in excellent shape … as for those that aren’t, with so few typewriter repair shops still existing, it may be all but impossible to get them working again.

But we didn’t buy them to use them — only to remember. It’s especially fun to take them to conferences and to see the looks on kids’ faces (kids up to twenty years old, in fact), who have no idea what these contraptions are.

We’ve created notecards for two of our typewriters — the Remington Rand portable, circa 1940, and the L.C. Smith & Corona Model 8, circa 1929. (Our two other sets of notecards are from the beautiful Martin Howard Collection).


We think all our typewriters are extremely photogenic and hope to dust off a few more of them for new cards … stay tuned!