Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Going Old School: Nostalgic for the Typewriter

Photo credit: OldTypewriter
Have you noticed a resurgent interest in vintage and portable typewriters? Royal, Smith-Corona, Underwood, Remington--all have caught my eye in neighborhood antique stores and online venues like Etsy, such as this 1970s Red Portable Olivetti Valentine Vintage, sold by OldTypewriter. Combine old-school nostalgia with sleek shapes and clickety-clack acoustic appeal, and it's hard to resist the visual and tactile beauty of these machines, which typically run anywhere from $70-350. You can also find refurbished ones at a brick-and-mortar shops like Gramercy Office Equipment Co in NYC.

A typewriter is "ideal for composing indelible condolences, congratulations and even business letters," according to a 2014 Wall Street Journal article by Steve Garbarino, who also reported on forthcoming gadgets that "promise to bring the typewriter into the digital age": the Hemingwrite (now called Freewrite) by Astrohaus, a cloud-connected word processor with mechanical keys; and the Qwerkywriter, a Bluetooth mechanical keyboard. Each device costs over $300.

If that's not in your budget or you're wedded to the ease of your laptop and digital devices, there's typewriter jewelry to wear, such as these earrings of my initials and a favorite antique locket.

Or, simply pore over typewriter treasures in exhibits all over the world, from the Typewriter Museum in Finland to the Soboroff Typewriter Collection at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, which displays typewriters by people featured on the cover of Time magazine, including such literary luminaries as Ernest Hemingway, Orson Welles and Ray Bradbury. Watch this CBS video of Steve Soboroff, president of the LA Police Commision, and hear the collector speak about the appeal.

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