…I don’t talk about them much, but I have four of them. Maybe you’ve seen them at my apartment? Maybe you were the recipient of one when I moved to a smaller apartment and didn’t have room to keep them all?
A few years ago I was introduced to thrift store shopping… You may have read about my issues with clothes shopping, and that doesn’t really change in thrift stores, but I do have a few favorite items I look for every time I go: 1.) interesting dishes, 2.) cheap (good) books, 3.) cassette tapes (you should see my collection of late 80s / early 90s cassettes), and 4.) typewriters. I especially love the typewriters. They are… my babies.
As a mother with her children, I can’t choose a favorite typewriter. I love the look of the old Royal, with its round keys:
Though its serial number places it a little later than Ernest Hemingway’s typewriter, it’s strikingly similar his (and no, Hemingway didn’t drink diet Coke, but there are things he drank that I don’t, I’m sure) (incidentally, this photograph, with its M&Ms wrapper, gum package, soda cans, and general mess, makes me feel like I’m making some progress as a person — those were dark years).
There was the first typewriter, which traveled with me to Montana and back, and on whom I wrote many a letter and an occasional private rant. I love its baby blue color, and it will always be special to me and remind me of… being in love:
Pounding words onto a page is incredibly satisfying. If you’ve never experienced this, come on over some time, and I’ll show you. The words you type are permanent, resolute, rhythmic, and noisy (even if the typewriter calls itself “silent”). It was on this machine that I discovered my love for pounding out ideas, letter by letter, as well as unforeseen strength in my pinkies.
I’ll talk about the other two lovely machines (and the two I gave away and the one I almost bought in Helsinki) some other time, but for now I want to show you something very cool (and then go to bed — have to say the 14-hour days aren’t my favorite). I’m working on a project with special collections, and the other day I came across the coolest typewriter font EVER. Seriously. Check this out:
I just love the sans-serif style, and the little slanted “e”… and the no-frills “u” and “g”… and the capital letters strike slightly higher than the rest of the line, which is a little quirk found in some of my own typewriters… Should you ever come across one of these, do let me know…