Monday, June 3, 2013

Vintage Typewriters Are Still Cool

The "Faulkner Portable" via Wikipedia
A while back I blogged about writing instruments.  I offered some suggestions on a nice -- yet inexpensive -- fountain pen or two.  But recently, after a little late night surfing, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that manual typewriters are still used to write, and in some cases collected. The actor Tom Hanks apparently has over 200 manual typewriters in his collection, and this gentlemen, Ermanno Marzorati, a typewriter repairman in Beverly Hills, California, has something like 60 of Mr. Hank's beauties on his shelves waiting to be repaired.  

Personally, I'm nostalgic about old writing instruments, and yes, that includes typewriters that make you slow down just a little bit before you write.  Mr. Marzorati tells the Agence France-Presse that, "To me the typewriter is better than the computer, not because I’m old fashioned, but because it slows you down. You have to choose the words carefully because you cannot correct." 

Now, I've never used an old manual typewriter, as in, the ones that do not have a correct function or correction tape.  I do remember pounding away on an old IBM electric in grade school, the ones with the metal ball that spun on your command, nailing the letter into the paper; it always appeared to me to be more of an impression than an impression and ink.  Occasionally we would be so brave -- or stupid -- to stick a thumb near the ball of steel to see if we could tolerate the impact.  Oh, how brave, how brave.  But even the IBM electric had a correction button.

Today you can find a large selection of old manual typewriters on E-bay for a few bucks, while others, depending on their condition and rarity can go for a few hundred.

I'm considering pulling out the ol' Brother electric typewriter...taking it for a spin.

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