How many types could a typewriter type…

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This winter we are continuing with our theme of ravenously and un-mercilessly  PURGING our collections to weed out all of the completely useless (to us) stuff that has somehow accumulated there over the last however many years. Kind of like the whole thing with the shed. Except this one has a touch more of a systematic system to go along with it.

Today’s unsuspecting victim was…



I have to apologize, my mind hasn’t exactly been super clear today, feeling a bit under the weather, so I didn’t get a picture with the shelf literally (no, like, actually literally) covered in typewriters!  So instead, here is a picture of the shelf, and you have to imagine it covered in typewriters. As in, not one more millimeters worth of room to even think of putting another thing on there. (ok, you caught me, maybe there was a millimeter)

In the museum world, typewriters and sewing machines and harrows are like bunnies. They are EVERYWHERE! and they seem to MULTIPLY! The duplicates of the duplicates…duplicated!!

So Tammy decided enough was enough. With our new storage reno coming around, we need to get serious about how much space we want to take up with things we don’t actually particularly entirely realistically need. So…judgement day it was.



That…is a lot of typewriters.

As they were filtering in, Skip and I got majorly side tracked playing with some of the nice ones…the action on the good ones is simply mesmerizing!! When I was little, my grandparents has a typewriter that my sister and I would entertain ourselves on for HOURS, but the keys were not unlike a modern keyboard. But these…oh these wonderful things…they have the round keys…and they have a very long stroke, so you REALLY have to push down in order to swing the part that strikes onto the paper hard enough to transfer. But once you get the feel, oh boy! It’s a thing of beauty…


These are some of the ones we will be keeping for programs & playing

So I started getting curious about just where exactly typewriters came from. Here is the link to the site I found, it is just a short overview, but cool none the less. According to it, it is kind of a cool process; apparently one of the first patents looked somewhat like a ‘pin cushion’…a rather interesting concept.

something like it. I am more inclined to say it resembles a hedgehog personally…

Though, this site also says that a major player in the development of typewriters spawned from an Italian by the name of Pellegrino Turri in 1808, for a blind countess friend named Carolina Fantoni da Fivizzano [say that 10 times fast…] so she could write easier. How very noble!

But like many things, including denim overalls, trends seem to circulate. Thanks to many a Hipster, the typewriter is making quite the comeback, in all it’s various forms.

Please enjoy this compilation of hipsters typing on typewriters in inappropriate public places.



And for those just slightly more motivated to tap into Wi-Fi and post their 50th Tweet of the day, there is always this lovely Typewriter styled attachment for your iPad!

{Although… I myself WILL be so bold as to say that if this thing has keys bigger than the little finger crowding keyboards that come with the iPad cases, I would in fact, be all over this thing. with bells on. if I actually had an iPad.}

So I suppose that truly says something to the appeal of a typewriter. Most, seem to weigh approximately that of a newborn Elephant (at roughly 1/20th the size), while others can be neatly tucked away in a small carrying case and touted rather pleasantly around. I suppose, if you really take a second to think about it, they do seem to have their merits…

*No techno-glitches…if it isn’t working properly, it is something mechanical that can most likely be fairly easily found and fixed, not requiring drone like robotic insight…

*You don’t necessarily have to worry about a power source with most of them…

…that is unless you haven’t had your morning coffee yet…

*You don’t have to worry about printing out your work later

*The chances of it being stolen if you get up to go to the washroom are probably pretty slim, considering just. how. freaking. heavy. it is

*You develop incredible typing precision and very strong hands

On the downside of the list…

*They are so LOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUD…..not exactly what I want to hear while I’m excitedly savoring a long awaited coffee {coffee shop coffee is an occasional treat for me, and nothing will stand in the way of my enjoying it!}

P.S.-(I don’t know who all is reading this, but if you are younger and haven’t heard typewriters in person, they are borderline obnoxious. I love onomatopoeias, and the most perfect one for a typewriter is ‘SMACK!’ ‘SMACKSMACKSMACKSMACK!’ ‘SMACK!’ ‘SMACKSMACK-SMACK-SMACKSMACKSMACK!’)

*They can be horrendously bulky

*You have to carry all the paper with you

*If you mess up a letter, no big deal, white it out and keep on going. If you change your mind about an entire paragraph or the structure of your piece? well…

*Your typing must be ON POINT, if you hit two keys at once it stalls and you have to take time to un-jam and un-stall it

*Heavens to Mergatroids… DO NOT TEAR YOUR RIBBON!

*The curious, judgmental, unwelcome, and awkward stares you will receive for choosing to cart and use your typewriter in a public space

*The possibility of solid objects being hurled in your general direction for the piercing ‘SLAP!’ sound that is burrowing into the brains of your fellow patrons as you are either painstakingly hunting & pecking or producing at the speed of light.

So I suppose you could say the pros and cons are fairly balanced in their own strange way, it’s just a matter of how much you value the general public’s opinion of you! And if you play your cards right, you could end up on your very own meme…