This reminds me of one of Letters of Note’s most popular posts: Tom Hanks (who’s a keen typewriter collector) responding to an interview request on a 1934 Smith Corona, which was actually sent to him as a bribe to do the interview.
Story goes he once bought a $5 typewriter in Australia that cost him $85 to ship home. And he’ll pull up a cafe table in front of, say, the Eiffel Tower, then whip out a typewriter and a glass of wine and start clacking away.
I had no idea he was into this, but it just makes me love ‘im even more. :) It’s just such a cool, classy hobby…old-school. Especially in light of his prolific social media output, which leads me to believe he is fully hooked up with smartphone, tablet, etc. I mean, it’s not as if he’s a total Luddite. The typewriter is just a different, more tactile medium of expression.
More on his hobby, and for the love of electric typewriters:
• How to Bribe Tom Hanks with a Vintage Typewriter (Messy Nessy Chic)
• The Quiet Cult of the Olympia Report DeLuxe Electric Typewriter (Gizmodo): “Compared to using a word processor on a PC, using the ORD was an earthy process: Hands-on ribbon changes, the smell of ink, and cranking the platen to see what you just typed,” says writer Steven Levy. Perhaps not coincidentally, it’s the ORD that gets so much play (from Greg Kinnear’s character) in You’ve Got Mail.
With one click of the mouse, I became a collector. I bought a second typewriter.
I bought my first typewriter in October 2011. Goodwill opened a store in the area, which my partner and I promptly checked out. It turned out to be a well-planned visit as I found a Smith-Corona Classic 12 in fine condition sitting on the shelves, waiting to be snagged by the first analog-enthusiast to cross its path. I didn’t know it yet, but I was one such enthusiast.
Over the months that followed, I would learn how to properly clean it, fix some of the keys that were stuck, and that, while the office supply store does not carry the ribbons I needed, e-commerce would make finding such things possible. Every step of the way, I was excited. I was engaging with a technology that had supposedly become outdated and loving it.
Not least of…
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