This mixed set of 12 notecards features three each of these antique typewriters, all from our own collection: the L.C. Smith & Corona Model 8 (circa 1929), the Corona Model Four (1930), the Remington Rand Portable (circa 1940), and the Remington Remette Portable (1938).
This mixed set of 12 notecards features three each of these antique typewriters: the Remington Rand Portable (circa 1940) and the L.C. Smith & Corona Model 8 (circa 1929), both from our own collection, as well as The Chicago (1899) and the Crandall, New Model (1886), from the spectacular Martin Howard Collection.
This Typewriter Day special saves you 40 percent (or more, depending on how many boxes you order), and shipping is free for all U.S. orders. (If you’re a typewriter aficionado who lives outside the U.S., please contact us!)
Thanks to Ginger Beringer for sending along this photo of our Literary Provisions as they helped her and author Ray Keifetz (author of “Miriam’s Lantern” in AMONG ANIMALS) stay hydrated in their beautiful garden!
For those of you writerly types who also need hydration this summer, check out our water bottles at LitProv.com … where you’ll also find literary (okay, and maybe slightly geeky) T-shirts and vintage typewriter notecards.
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.
Our General Manager, by nature of living in a household full of them, is well aware of what a typewriter is.
But there is a whole generation of humans out there who have absolutely no reference point for these ancient devices.
They simply did not grow up with them. This was especially evident at the Wordstock book festival, where we had a typewriter on display — children under ten years old stared at it in wonder. Most of them had to ask what it was.
For context, I remind myself of what I thought when I first saw a telegraph. I wondered: People actually used this thing to communicate?
Which leads me to one of the core challenges of writing literature these days.
With technology changing so quickly, you can have a novel you began three years ago suddenly feel dated by the time you complete it — not to mention by the time you get it published. If your novel has a land line and an answering machine in it, it’s going to feel like a period piece. If one of your characters doesn’t have a cell phone or doesn’t text, the character will need to be of a certain generation, or you’ll have to explain why he or she is so technologically behind.
It’s not just about cell phones or texting.
What about tablets? Instagram? And, God help us, Facebook?
It’s getting more and more challenging to write contemporary novels that remain contemporary for a few years after they’re published.
But then again, what’s so bad about period pieces? Not to mention the fun you can have with characters who buck the trends — those without cell phones, those who have never been on Facebook. I admire these people in real life — the ability to remain disconnected.
Which means, I suppose, that though I have the cell phone and the Facebook account, I’m a typewriter person at heart.