Friday, March 13, 2015

Why I collect (a deeper question than you would think!)

In my posts on this blog, I feel that I need to evolve. As any regular viewer would know, my posts are generally light and based mainly on the typewriters themselves. I have a much deeper personality than most of my blog could show, and so I wrote this. I hope to do some more long winded posts like this at some point, but they probably won't start to appear until the summer when I have more time on my hands to write a well thought out typecast.


(click to enlarge the pictures if you are having a tough time reading them)

My first typewriter, a battered Royal FP with major skipping issues. I no longer own it, so this is the best picture I can provide.

(See my post on my rescued Royal Arrow)


  1. I have always had phases of interest in collections and hobbies and typewriters have been the same for me; they've held my attention more strongly and for a longer time than just about anything else I've liked.

    There really is something magical about your first few times typing on a manual typewriter. I wish I remembered more about mine, but at least I have the first few pages I typed!

  2. Wonderful thoughts. I agree with you that typewriters can be transformative. Keep up the good work, I look forward to more of your thoughts.

  3. I enjoy the photos and stories. I feel the same way, as most of us weirdo TW collectors do. Please tell me where you find screwdrivers with thin tips, as you must be working with a good set. No hardware store carries these. I prefer to see and feel them first, so going online on faith is not an option. I live in upstate NY, but am willing to drive 100 miles to find a set that works with the thin slots on these machines. I thought about asking Richard Polt or the Davis brothers, but I figured I'd ask you first. I own about 100 machines and just won an eBay auction for a good service manual. Thanks. Erik in Chatham, NY.

    1. I don't see why you can't find small flat head screwdrivers in hardware stores, that's where I got all of mine. A good hardware store should have screwdrivers of all shapes and sizes to fit your needs.

      Good luck!

  4. I can say a resounding, "Hear, hear!!," to the piece called, "Why Do You Collect Typewriters?" Yes, I've had other collections like old records and train sets and wind-up toys. I still collect records, though not for their value, but for the songs I like to play on them. I remember when I was repairing typewriters back in the eighth grade, I'd put on Glenn Miller, or Tommy Dorsey, or any knock-off big band and start tearing into the typewriter nearest my repair bench, whether it needed it or not. I'd spend hours, perhaps all day, either tearing one down and building it back up, or just typing on one--all to the rhythm of big band jazz. There are a number of reasons why I collect old typewriters: 1. At the time (in the eighties) they were cheaper than old cars; 2. It kept me out of the pool hall and the beer joints, so I credit typewriter collecting for helping me to stay out of jail; 3. Seeing how it all worked together, all the links, wheels, gears, and straps has always fascinated me, as well as seeing the many different variations by various makes and sizes of typewriters; 4. There is a sense of history that I help keep alive. We did this!! We used these machines without the aid of spellcheck or google. We rolled paper into the darn thing, bashed away, yanked out what we bashed, and smashed it all into an envelope, put a stamp on the whole mess and gave it to the mailman to fling the letter at whomever we wanted him to fling the letter at--end of story; 5. My late mother used to do a lot of typing, so typing and collecting typewriters to me is part of a legacy to my mother, and in that way I feel I'm honoring her. I even have her last typewriter--a 1959 Underwood Touchmaster II; 6. I sometimes wonder about the people who used these machines before I did--how they lived, what they were like, what life was like for them, and if in a way they sometimes revisit these old machines as ghosts or something. I also collect their machines to their legacies too. These are the main reasons I collect old typewriters.