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Long Live the Typewriter

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

lbutterworth

Lisa Butterworth is a writer and editor soaking up the eternal sunshine in Los Angeles. When she’s not on the hunt for the latest and greatest in girl culture as the West Coast editor of BUST magazine, she’s flea marketing, taco trucking, and generally raising a ruckus. 

Nothing makes me swoon at a flea market like a shiny Royal typewriter. And if it happens to be my favorite shade of bubblegum pink, I’m a total goner. It’s not an unusual sentiment—despite their bulk, price, and high-maintenance needs, typewriters inspire adoration from vintage lovers everywhere.

The first typewriter to ever be manufactured on a large scale was the Sholes & Glidden Type Writer, produced by E. Remington and Sons in 1873. At the time, Remington was known for making sewing machines, and the first typewriter bore more than a few similarities to their number-one product, including a foot pedal for controlling the carriage return. It had a couple of huge drawbacks though: its type arms struck the paper underneath the carriage, so typists couldn’t see a darn thing they were doing, and it only typed in all caps. One element it introduced however, still influences typing today: the QWERTY keyboard, which was set up as such to reduce the number of side-by-side type bars being hit in quick succession and getting stuck.

Tom Laurus

1930s Remington typewriter

The next incarnation of the typewriter allowed for lower-case letters as well as typing visibility and by 1920, the inner workings of typewriters were pretty well standardized. In the 1920s and ’30s, four main typewriter companies commandeered the field — Underwood, Royal, Remington, and Smith-Corona — putting out, for the most part, somewhat industrial-looking manual writing machines. It wasn’t until the 1940s, when manufacturers started marketing typewriters for home use, that their look became more enticing, and additional companies gained popularity including models from Hermes, Olympia, and Olivetti. In the 1950s and ’60s, when the business world was booming and secretaries and typists were abundant, the standard design for typewriters featured eye-popping colors and came housed in steel cases that made typewriters as good-looking as they were useful. It was also during this time period that electric typewriters caught on. But the ’60s marked the beginning of the end for the typewriter, and by the end of the ’70s, Remington had stopped production. Many other manufacturers followed suit, and typewriters, at least in the U.S., are now an iconic relic of the past. Which is, of course, one of the reasons they’re so desirable.

FrenchFrouFrou

1953 Royal advertisement

So what to look for when you’re in the market for a typewriter? It really depends on what you want it for. If you’re simply looking for a cool decoration or conversation piece, color and style are the only things you need worry about. If you want a machine you can actually use, Donna Brady, one half of typewriter restoration team Brady & Kowalski, recommends buying one in person whenever possible. “You should go with what feels good to type on. More times than not, what appeals to your eyes may not appeal to your fingers.” And though buying a refurbished typewriter can cost a few bills, it’s probably worth it since, as Brady points out, manual writing machines have up to 3,500 moving parts, any number of which can cause it to malfunction.

“If you happen upon a cheap typewriter that appears to be in working condition,” Brady says, “give it a good cleaning and oiling and you might just luck out.” Sounds easy enough, but with all those teeny-tiny parts, you don’t want to simply wing it. Grab some supplies, including a cloth, alcohol, a soft brush, a stiff toothbrush, 3-in-1 oil or gun oil, contact cement for loose keys, and a nail file, and take a gander at this awesome illustrated reference, which walks you through the cleaning and lubrication process. If it’s a problem you can’t fix yourself, Brady says, “There are still typewriter repair people out there, although they are few and far between, and sadly it’s a dying art.” She suggests checking this list, being kept up to date by typewriter collector Richard Polt, for a repairperson in your area. Once you have your typewriter up and running, Brady also has a few suggestions for maintaining it: “Use it frequently and keep it in a dust-free, climate-controlled environment. And when not in use, keep it stored in its case.” Now go get your click-clack on!

Lisa Butterworth is a writer and editor soaking up the eternal sunshine in Los Angeles. When she's not on the hunt for the latest and greatest in girl culture as the West Coast editor of BUST magazine, she's flea marketing, taco trucking, and generally raising a ruckus.

3 Featured Comments

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  • vintagenowandthen

    vintagenowandthen from vintagenowandthen says: Featured

    I think that the reason that typewriters are regaining their appeal these days is because there is something a bit magical about old typewriters. . .their appealing industrial look, the feel of the keys & the movement & sounds of all the working parts that produce words on paper. . .providing a sense of permanence in an uncertain world.

    2 years ago

  • tresundesigns

    Lauren from tresundesigns says: Featured

    This article sure brought back some fond memories of using a typewriter in high school. I especially remember using correcting paper to fix mistakes. Now it's just a tap of the backspace or delete button and all is forgiven. Great article!

    2 years ago

  • thewomensrepublic

    Sara Brazil from SararaVintage says: Featured

    Wonderful post and reminder of their beauty, historical significance and uses! They represent one step away from the hand to paper- at least you can see touch and feel the letters in the real world as they appear--ah technology always changing. I am only in my 30's and it was the typewriter that taught me how to type not the computer! Love Love the colors!

    2 years ago

  • tigersanddragons

    tigersanddragons from TigersandDragons says:

    Thanks for the tips, I have several typewriters that I would love to get in working order. Wish I hadn't sold my electric IBM typewriter 15 years ago, it was a marvel, and worked great.

    2 years ago

  • TipsyTimeMachine

    TipsyTimeMachine from TipsyTimeMachine says:

    I'm on the lookout for an elusive typewriter with an interesting font...hope to luck out someday.

    2 years ago

  • Bmbyx

    Olga from Bmbyx says:

    In a summer time, my mom would take to her office sometimes and I kept myself busy with one of those typewriters and abacus. Ahhhh, fun times.

    2 years ago

  • mtraub Admin

    Michelle Traub from mtraub says:

    While I love a linguistic typewriter as much as the next aspiring wordsmith, this music typewriter actually blew my mind: http://www.etsy.com/listing/80501138

    2 years ago

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie says:

    Love these typewriters!!!

    2 years ago

  • myvintagecrush

    Kathleen from myvintagecrush says:

    Great post! I, too, get all excited whenever I spy a vintage typewriter while out treasure hunting ;)

    2 years ago

  • cjwdesignvillage

    Cynthia J Williams from CJWDesignVillage says:

    Seeing the typewriters reminds me why I liked them so much it was the sound of the keys as you typed that I liked. You don't get that sound with todays keyboards.

    2 years ago

  • cabbagepatchgirls

    Pollock Sisters from cabbagepatchgirls says:

    I love and collect vintage typewriters. You just can't go wrong with them:) Thanks for the info it came in handy.

    2 years ago

  • rivahside

    rivahside says:

    They're neat to look at but, ugh, I learned to type on my dad's ancient black Royal that weighed at least one ton. It took me forever to type my term papers but then my grandparents took pity on me and for my high school graduation gave me a Smith-Corona Selectric. It was like going from rotary to push-button phones!!

    2 years ago

  • vynsimplicity

    Melissa Mulder from VyntageBlooms says:

    Oh that is sooo pretty, I am with you on the pink! There is something so sassy about pounding out a poem on one of these typewriters.. I feel so vintage ish ..I should type in pearls and heels one day :) that would make for a nice picture :) Thanks for the post!

    2 years ago

  • Bmbyx

    Olga from Bmbyx says:

    @ Michelle, the music typewriter is truly something special. Can you imagine typing a symphony for an entire orchestra on one of those!

    2 years ago

  • paperrevolver
  • miriammacke

    Miriam Macke says:

    I have a circa-50s Royal that I actually used to practice on and learn on- I pulled it out every afternoon for a couple of hours- uggghhh very heavy. My husband teases me- says there must be a lot of memory in it for being so heavy. But, with all the practice, I ended up being a medical transcriptionist for 10 years. My ex-husband gleaned it from a car dealership that was going to throw it away...

    2 years ago

  • bagladybooty

    bagladybooty from bagladybooty says:

    I'm a freelance writer, and very attached to my Mac. (Sometimes, I think it's permanently glued to my lap.) But I still have a fondness for old typewriters. There's nothing nowadays that's new, that can compete with a classic typewriter!

    2 years ago

  • OnlyOriginalsByAJ

    AJ Marsden from OnlyOriginalsByAJ says:

    What a great article! Very informative! Thanks for sharing :)

    2 years ago

  • IkvothaMashiach70

    Gabrielle Knight from RuffleNBustle says:

    I would love one of those red royal's to put on my computer desk. They remind me that not to far in the distant past, in the good ole days, things were simpler and slower and people would bring casseroles to their next door neighbors and sit on their front porches drinking iced tea. I like to think that someday we'll all slow down again... someday.

    2 years ago

  • ykurtsman

    Jenya from GoldAntlers says:

    What a great post. Thanks!

    2 years ago

  • laceylamb

    Heather from HBoydStudio says:

    Thanks for the information!

    2 years ago

  • jacksredbarn

    Sarah and Devyn from jacksredbarn says:

    We have a pretty cool one for sale if you want to check it out... http://www.etsy.com/listing/80501138/rare-keaton-music-typewriter

    2 years ago

  • WingedWorld

    Vickie Moore from WingedWorld says:

    I love the bright colors and styling of Royal typewriters! Thanks for the information on typewriter history!

    2 years ago

  • StrandRedesign

    Unni Strand from StrandRedesign says:

    I used to borrow my grandfather's typewriter. I played "office" or "writer" and it was grand.

    2 years ago

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage says:

    Interesting article. I don't miss them. Although, I used to love the IBM Selectric electric typewriter.

    2 years ago

  • Demoriam

    Debra Gordon from DGordonDesigns says:

    Great article. I have a old typewriter in a case (which is olive green) that has been sitting in the closet. Now I know how to clean it! Thanks for sharing!

    2 years ago

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat says:

    No, I'm sorry, but I simply don't have room in my nostalgia bucket for typewriters! I've spent way too many hours at typing lessons pounding away at a huge & unwieldy Remington to have too much affection for them. As works of art, industrial artifacts or even modern sculpture they definitely have a place & can be appreciated as decor... but as for using them to produce the written word, I much prefer my trusty laptop! It can do 1000 things besides type & still only weighs about a tenth of those cast iron monstrosities!

    2 years ago

  • paramountvintage

    kristin from blackmoonsky says:

    typewriters are so wonderful! i love the bright colorful ones!!!

    2 years ago

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 from Parachute425 says:

    My mom used to have a great peachy pink typewriter. I don't remember the brand but I do remember the carbon paper for copies and the whiteout - so much white-out!

    2 years ago

  • uniquefabricgifts

    Unique Fabric Gifts from uniquefabricgifts says:

    Great article! Thanks for the post!

    2 years ago

  • shimmerwing

    Laura from shimmerwing says:

    Love that first pink one!

    2 years ago

  • shootfromcanada

    Amy Kenny from shootfromcanada says:

    Awesome piece. I have a large typewriter tattoo my back and the image was copied from a photo I found of a turquoise Royal for sale on Etsy!

    2 years ago

  • Challand

    Sharon Challand from Challand says:

    Fun to see the vintage typewriters!

    2 years ago

  • ThreadLockPress

    Lindsay Lusby from ThreadLockPress says:

    Wonderful article! That cleaning reference picture is a great thing to have on hand (printed one out for myself). I also love typewriters and I make cozies for them to help them stay dust-free. If you're interested, please have a look at my shop!

    2 years ago

  • creativechai

    Dave Rowley from creativechai says:

    I love old typewriters--they're clunky and beautiful at the same time.

    2 years ago

  • AuntieJeansAttic

    Jean Gillmore from AuntieJeansAttic says:

    I love old typewriters and have sold several in my shop. I only have this one green Remington right now but I search for them whenever possible. There was a wonderful story about them on CBS Sunday Morning recently.

    2 years ago

  • bunnyingitup

    Siana Thomas says:

    This is lovely. *____* -fawns over- Basically what Dave Rowley said up there - they're both clunky and gorgeous, and to me, they look both retro and vintage and somehow futuristic at the same time. They're just very cool pieces of work, and pretty damn symbolic at this point.

    2 years ago

  • teresadeleen

    Teresa from TeresaDeLeen says:

    If you just can't getting it working again, it still can be used to for beauty - I use the keys from non-working machines for jewelry (I never taking working machines apart!) I just love the clack and whir of a typewriter!

    2 years ago

  • 2bloomsdesignstudio

    Michelle from twobloomsds says:

    I love this pink one. I learned to type on a typewriter.

    2 years ago

  • ChrissiesRibbons
  • mikiheather

    Heather Butler from MikiandHeather says:

    I'd love one!

    2 years ago

  • vintagenowandthen

    vintagenowandthen from vintagenowandthen says: Featured

    I think that the reason that typewriters are regaining their appeal these days is because there is something a bit magical about old typewriters. . .their appealing industrial look, the feel of the keys & the movement & sounds of all the working parts that produce words on paper. . .providing a sense of permanence in an uncertain world.

    2 years ago

  • aranworld

    Aran Johnson from aranworld says:

    @TipsyTimeMachine My wife bought a mint green Hermes 3000 with cursive font about 15 years ago. It is quite a beautiful typewriter and I know I have seen them available on eBay for reasonable prices.

    2 years ago

  • tresundesigns

    Lauren from tresundesigns says: Featured

    This article sure brought back some fond memories of using a typewriter in high school. I especially remember using correcting paper to fix mistakes. Now it's just a tap of the backspace or delete button and all is forgiven. Great article!

    2 years ago

  • whatsit

    Candice from blissfulfinds says:

    I still have my portable manual typewriter that my parents gave me for Christmas when I was about 14. I typed all my book reports etc. for school. Mine is a gold color and it was made by Sears. It still works fine, probably needs oiled up and a new ribbon I am sure. In high school we learned to type on manual typewriters then went on to the electrics ones. I do love to see the old black Remingtons and Royals. Oh Back in the day.......

    2 years ago

  • DeweysNook

    Victoria Benenati from DeweysNook says:

    I have a modern "Brother" typewriter, it's a heck of a lot more reliable than a printer, I write out all my letters with it, and I even use it to type up invoices should my printer not be working. I love typewriters, nothing will replace them. In a way, they are like Windows XP... We have windows vista AND windows 7, yet so many people still enjoy XP....

    2 years ago

  • nerdnest

    Megan and Jake Anderson from nerdnest says:

    Awesome article! We're pretty much typewriter obsessed around here. Our favorites from our personal collection are one that types in cursive and an old glass key Royal with a faux bois finish :)

    2 years ago

  • mochamint36

    Shannon from FreshlyFallenDesigns says:

    LOVE the PINK Typewriter!

    2 years ago

  • lisaleigh1

    Lisa Leigh from LisaLeighPhotography says:

    So many cool looking typewriters!

    2 years ago

  • Brooklynretro

    Brooklynretro from BrooklynRetro says:

    GREAT ARTICLE!

    2 years ago

  • Ottoman

    Summer from Ottoman says:

    Oh, you read my mind! I was recently considering requesting a story regarding a demo on servicing typewriters. The link provided is priceless. Thank you!

    2 years ago

  • rmhoffmann

    Ron Hoffmann from rmhoffmann says:

    I learned to type on a Royal office manual typewriter. My teacher could type at 90WPM on one! Learning to touch type properly has been a real asset in my IT job.

    2 years ago

  • TheMillineryShop

    Marcia Lacher from TheMillineryShop says:

    I had typing as homeroom in Junior High School. Mrs. Noonan would never let us do homework or talk while in her charge. Instead she had us relentlessly type for half an hour of homeroom in the mornings and half an hour while waiting for the bus. We hated her so much for making us miserable while our friends clowned around in their homerooms. Who could have imagined that this skill would still be so current all these years later?

    2 years ago

  • Waterrose

    Rose Waterrose from Waterrose says:

    I love manual typewriters. Especially when there is a roomful of typists (high school) and they are all synch....sending the carriage back and the bell at the same time...lol

    2 years ago

  • thoughtfullyadorned

    Lesley Chandler from thoughtfullyadorned says:

    Oh I love the pink one too!

    2 years ago

  • gilstrapdesigns

    Debra Gilstrap from gilstrapdesigns says:

    Thanks for the info. here lately I've been want a typewriter. The funny thing about it years ago when that was all we had in offices I had using the typewriter. I was so glad when all of the offices finally got computers but up until about 7 or 8 years ago I worked for the City and we would still get some forms that were not on the computer and so we still had a typewriter at one office that I worked at.

    2 years ago

  • thoughtfullyadorned

    Lesley Chandler from thoughtfullyadorned says:

    ...and the red one and the yellow one....lol

    2 years ago

  • asm1234

    asm1234 says:

    Oh, the pink typewriter is too adorable, I learned a big black one, sooo heavy, anyway, now I am in the publishing field, and loving it!

    2 years ago

  • piahathaikan

    Pia Hathaikan from NailspampersPia says:

    Thank you very much , i 'm missing them ! Good to write article! :)

    2 years ago

  • SusiesBoutiqueTLC

    SusiesBoutiqueTLC from SusiesBoutiqueTLC says:

    Great article. Thank you.

    2 years ago

  • junquegypsy

    junquegypsy from junquegypsy says:

    "Eyes on copy? Ready? Begin!" were the commands from my high school typing teacher before each timed test. I've sold a few and have a few more vintage typewriters in my junque . CBS Sunday Morning Show had a very recent segment on the popularity of vintage manual typewriters, entitled "A Typewriter Renaissance." You can watch it here http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7397608n&tag=contentMain;contentBody

    2 years ago

  • csburdick

    csburdick from callmebrazen says:

    My love of typewriters is akin to my passion for rollerskates and Edna St. Vincent Millay. Everyone should own at least one!

    2 years ago

  • pincushioncrazy346

    Carole from PincushionCrazy says:

    I've got a couple of old-timers that I'll have to dig out of the basement...

    2 years ago

  • importeyedea

    Kt from ImportEyedea says:

    This brought back some long forgotten childhood memories... luckily the typewriter was more a game than an instrument of work. We spent hours pretending to be dictating memos and writing up reports. It probably never contributed to our actual typing abilities but it did keep us laughing for hours on end when we jammed the ribbon (again!).

    2 years ago

  • TheSavageGarden

    TheSavageGarden from TheSavageGarden says:

    try searching for steampunk keyboard, or computer you can purchase a keyboard with type-writer keys pretty-neat

    2 years ago

  • RetroRevivalBoutique

    RetroRevivalBoutique from RetroRevivalBoutique says:

    Fabulous article, and that pink typewriter set my heart all a twitter! ^__^

    2 years ago

  • optic

    Rhonda from optic says:

    Click, click. clack clack.... Love it!!! My girls would absolutely swoon over a typewriter.... I would too!! What a great great article! Thanks for the smiles.

    2 years ago

  • FrozenTimePhoto

    Brandon Addis from BrandonAddisArt says:

    Fantastic post! I have been on the search for one for a while, I am gonna have to look it up soon, and give myself and the mac a break! Thank you!

    2 years ago

  • HandmadeIsAllAround

    HandmadeIsAllAround from iammieOWLshop says:

    Interesting post! The typewrites look classy today. :)

    2 years ago

  • sweetsarahcardsandtr

    Sarah M. from sweetsarahartisancon says:

    Fabulous article!

    2 years ago

  • dottywalker

    Dotty Walker from SewThoughtfulBlanket says:

    I use to have a blue Smith Corona typewriter and to type on it you had to pound on the keys to make it work. Things are much easier today. Sew Thoughtful Blankets on Etsy.

    2 years ago

  • TresChicNmodern

    TresChicNmodern from TresChicNmodern says:

    SUCH A BEAUTIFULLLLLLLLLL PINK TYPEWRITER. IT'S AMAZING HOW PINK WAS HOT WAY BACK THEN, AND STILL VERY HOT TODAY!!

    2 years ago

  • KMalinka

    Natalia from KMalinkaVintage says:

    Awesome post!

    2 years ago

  • timelessmuse

    CJ from timelessmuse says:

    I'm one of those elusive typewriter repair folks. Ten years collecting and just over a year now selling full time. My stock is always changing, so come by and have a look, at least just for fun. There's absolutely nothing like a dependable old typewriter, and I love making it my business to provide them.

    2 years ago

  • PruAtelier

    Jeanne B from PruAtelier says:

    Oh would you look at those great old typewriters and oh how they bring back memories! I learned in high school on a non-electric Royal and when I worked secretarial jobs, the creme de la creme at the time were the IBM selectrics! Now a little forlorn over getting rid of my little electric portable Olivetti not too long ago!

    2 years ago

  • EnterpriseAmericana

    Enterprise Americana from EnterpriseAmericana says:

    I love my typewriters. Finishing up work on a 1915 Underwood No. 4 right now.

    2 years ago

  • DiscordVintage

    Discord Vintage from DiscordVintage says:

    Great history lesson on typewriters! Time to pull my mum's one out of the attic for a little vintage revival :)

    2 years ago

  • DiscordVintage

    Discord Vintage from DiscordVintage says:

    Great history lesson on typewrites! Time to pull my mum's one out of the attic for a little vintage revival :)

    2 years ago

  • alopexia

    Shelia Day from alopexia says:

    I still use a typewriter, my grandmother's 1950's Royal. She's a little beautiful little typewriter.

    2 years ago

  • Stargazer02

    Stargazer02 from LDesigns02 says:

    i love all these colors!

    2 years ago

  • sandboxcastle

    H Wang from sandboxcastle says:

    oohhh I used to have one of the rotating ball ones - a long long time ago. I like the way the keys feel in old fashioned type writers :3 (don't like the amount of white out I'd need though :P )

    2 years ago

  • katrinaalana

    Katrina Alana from KatrinaAlana says:

    We had a typewriter when we were growing up. I love how the sound it makes.

    2 years ago

  • LANCERIKA

    erika from lancerika says:

    ...fantastic,nostalgic typewriters... there is something about them quite unique... a writer's friend...thanks for the memories :)

    2 years ago

  • cottonbirddesigns

    Angela Cotton from CottonBirdDesigns says:

    Great article!

    2 years ago

  • peshka

    Peshka from Peshka says:

    Love it!

    2 years ago

  • goodbeads

    goodbeads from goodbeads says:

    How great the human be...Love them.

    2 years ago

  • LisasCottage

    LisaSD from LisasCottage says:

    So glad to see this article. My Mom was a reporter so I am drawn to the clack, clack, clack of these machines. I sold 3 pink ones and 1 baby blue one last year and feel lucky to have found them. Save my shop as a favorite if you are looking for a machine. I've got 3 more to list besides the Royal that's listed right now (a beautiful hunter green one) and I sell them in all price ranges. My typewriter guy is one of the ones on the repair list that was referenced. He has HUNDREDS of typewriters in his back shop and I keep trying to get him to part with at least SOME of them but he loves them like children! Ha! I wish you could see some of the beautiful, rare machines he has in his personal collection in the house. I saw that TV special that mentioned that people are having "Type-Ins" where people gather and type. Sounds like fun!

    2 years ago

  • Cecil2

    Lisa from Cecil2 says:

    Great Article! Perfect timing...I just listed a Underwood No. 5...:)

    2 years ago

  • mariacruz3
  • MORGRANA

    Emma G. from dreammor says:

    I have one olivetti lettera 42, I must look for it!

    2 years ago

  • MangoTango

    Bev Gallerani from MangoTango says:

    I learned how to type on an ancient typewriter that had blank keys so it wouldn't help to watch your fingers!

    2 years ago

  • xZOUix

    Zoui from XZOUIX says:

    -nice article :) man, i just luv the rhythmical sound of typing ♥

    2 years ago

  • eversolovely

    Ever So Lovely from EverSoLovely says:

    I was lucky enough to find a vintage royal pink typewriter and one in teal blue and reading this post just makes me want to type up a letter or five! Thanks for the inspiration :)

    2 years ago

  • typeStyles

    Custom Stamps and Printing from typeStyles says:

    Great article and love the collection! I so wish I had a place to display my vintage typewriter and acquire some old posters for my walls.

    2 years ago

  • AutumnLeavesJewelry

    Carolyn S. Miller from AutumnLeavesJewelry says:

    oooh love love love this! Wish I could find the typewriter I used in the late 70s from my teen-angst-listening to vinyl records-years

    2 years ago

  • adrianaallenllc

    Adriana Allen from adrianaallenllc says:

    Nice article - typewriters have always had a place of honor in my family. I grew up with the different sounds of the many typewriters my parents used in their work.

    2 years ago

  • LittleWrenPottery

    Victoria Baker from LittleWrenPottery says:

    Interesting article, typewriters have had a bad press here in the UK ever since the 1960's when women were typists - it was the only 'respectable' job a woman could be deemed to have!

    2 years ago

  • cowriegirl

    cowriegirl from cowriegirl says:

    Very cool! I hadn't thought about buying a typewriter for decoration, but that seems like a really cute idea.

    2 years ago

  • BurkeHareCo

    Erica from BurkeHareCo says:

    I loved my typewriter when I was young. I wrote so many odd stories on it that are a treasure to me now!

    2 years ago

  • redemptionart

    Connie Haskell from redemptionart says:

    Thank you, great article....I so want one..waiting for that "right" one!

    2 years ago

  • garbiedog

    Devon says:

    I'm also a writer and I have the bubblegum pink Royal typewriter - one of my first purchases here on etsy ($400!). It enjoys a place of honor on my mantle.

    2 years ago

  • aromacandles

    Laura from aromacandles says:

    I have to say there's nothing like the sound keys hitting paper.... brings back fond memories of typing class. Mr. Henderson...he drank Mountain Dew and wore clogs.....LOL. Great times

    2 years ago

  • MuseandMurse

    MuseandMurse says:

    I have two working typewriters that I use to write letters to my friends. I would have stuck with my first one, but then I was hooked and found the second one which typed in script. Both craft beautiful fonts. It took quite some time to locate new ribbons for them, but once I did they've worked perfectly. It's nice to have something more tactile and nostalgic than digital print from time to time. :-)

    2 years ago

  • mattyhandmadecrafts

    Matejka Max from NattyMatty says:

    Love it!!!

    2 years ago

  • MishaGirl

    Michelle from MishaGirl says:

    Oh the memories....;-)

    2 years ago

  • funnydays

    funnydays from funnydays says:

    Love it!!!

    2 years ago

  • llcourtney

    llcourtney from llcourtney says:

    I have refused to throw out my typewriter and the guys at work are merciless in their teasing. Envelopes are so easy to type and we have forms that cannot be filled out through the computer. Why get rid of something that works? It needs a good cleaning so the tips were helpful. Thanks.

    2 years ago

  • bkjamjets

    bkjamjets says:

    The pre-war Remington 3 portables came in some awesome two tone color ways, and had a cool red tab key. Just the right size to be a fantastic decor item, and marvelous to stare at because of the cool engineering!

    2 years ago

  • VintageRescueSquad

    VintageRescueSquad from VintageRescueSquad says:

    This article made my day! I can't keep vintage typewriters in stock....

    2 years ago

  • BunnyHillFarms

    BunnyHillFarms says:

    Hi, Lisa. Terrific article. You had me at pink! I purchased a Royal typewriter in excellent condition from an antique store in Monrovia, CA not long ago. My plan was to cut off the keys and make a bracelet, but I fell in love with the typewriter and absolutely could not go through with my plan. I ordered new ribbons and, thanks to your article, I will now clean my little 1940's baby up like new.

    2 years ago

  • Retroburgh

    Linda and Jigger from Retroburgh says:

    I love vintage typewriters!! I have at least ten here at the house, I am becoming a typewriter hoarder. I may have to list a few. :)

    2 years ago

  • emilythomas884

    emilythomas884 says:

    Love the pink one! I still have my Mom's black one, my Dad paid $5.00 for it when his company replaced it with an electric in the late'60's. I later used it in high school and college in the 70's. It's now proudly displayed in my husband's man cave, it still works! Thanks for the cleaning tips.

    2 years ago

  • atomiclivinhome

    Robin Grattarola from atomiclivinhome says:

    The Olivetti reminds me of one I used in typing class in high school. Takes me back...we really had a riot in that class...called the cranky teacher "Mother Barto"...actually got her to smile after awhile! :) Thanks for the memories...and the great article and photos!

    2 years ago

  • L2Country

    L2Country from L2Country says:

    Fun Article. ...I love Typewriters!

    2 years ago

  • DelilahsAttic

    Madeleine Keller from ThoseGoodVibrations says:

    typewriters are so cool! the pink one in the first picture is especially cute :) I think it's neat how we all type on the QWERTY keyboard today because of the original typewriter!

    2 years ago

  • someprintfolks

    Jessica Bourque from someprintfolks says:

    What a great article! I wish I had that how to clean guide before I ruined mine! A big warning against using alcohol on any graphics....

    2 years ago

  • LaurFace

    Laura Vrcek says:

    Um, thank you for giving me yet another new obsession, Etsy team. This is great piece, Lisa!

    2 years ago

  • monicannone

    Monica Cannone from TheVintageTherapy says:

    Great Info!.... I sold last week an amaizing Remington Mark II with cursive font!... and I have in my store a beautiful 1950s Smith Corona.... I wish I could keep them all!.. =D

    2 years ago

  • joevintage

    joevintage from joevintage says:

    Enjoyed the typewriter blog. Joevintage is L.A. based and have a large selection of vintage typewriters. We specialize in 1930s-80s manual portable typewriters, all guaranteed to be in excellent physical and working condition; each has been been tuned up, oiled and given a new ribbon by an expert and in some cases parts have been replaced/repaired. These beautiful writing machines have stood the test of time and hopefully will stay around for decades to come, provided they are not destroyed for a passing jewelry fad.... Computers of their time, they have had a resurgence among writers who appreciate their simplicity, quality and charm. The years that we have been dealing/collecting vintage portable typewriters, we have learning that these intricately engineered precision instruments, that are sturdy and fragile, all at the same time, are just lovely and amazing for many reasons. Typewriters speak to all your senses; they are tactile and fun to use, they are musical as they clickity-click-ding pushing the carriage on to the next line. They're a big shiny industrial sculptures and a creative tool to express yourself and open up your mind. Nine times out of ten they can be restoring by a skill technician, which is indeed a lost and dying art. I have been lucky enough to have built cherished friendships with these kindred spirits and together we have saved hundred of machines. Here is an interesting discussion regarding typewriter keys- www.etsy.com/teams/7722/business-topics/discuss/9761621/page/5/ Thanks- Jo

    2 years ago

  • accessoryalamode

    Deborah McGovern from deborahmcgovern says:

    LOVE old typewriters. Funny, I remember my mom had one when I was a kid, and now they are called vintage :O) lol! They are so cool and you really can mae a statement with them.

    2 years ago

  • accessoryalamode

    Deborah McGovern from deborahmcgovern says:

    typo...meant Make a statement.

    2 years ago

  • SwanSoon

    Swan Soon from SwanSoon says:

    Magnificent pictures ... and typewriters !

    2 years ago

  • KettleConfections

    KettleConfections from KettleConfections says:

    Vintage typewrite, I love you so much because I can see exactly the way you work just by observing how all the parts move when I type- being able to see how all the parts fit together and move marvels me much more so than the black box that is the iphone.

    2 years ago

  • uniquecozytreasures

    Deb from uniquecozytreasures says:

    Great Article. I never knew they were made in so many wonderful colors. I think there is a typewriter renaissance going on. I have a beautiful Vintage Smith-Corona Turquoise manual 60's typewriter for sale in my Etsy shop: uniquecozytreasures. http://www.etsy.com/listing/71197461/smith-corona-super-sterling-typewriter , if anyone is looking for a great typewriter in great shape with case.

    2 years ago

  • thevelvetheart

    Melanie Beth from thevelvetheart says:

    There is nothing like a vintage typewriter!

    2 years ago

  • MaisJamais

    MaisJamais from MaisJamais says:

    I recently sold three typewriters in my shop, a blue Smith Carona Galxie, an ORANGE Olympia and stunning 1930s Royal Delixe. Oh and a 1930s beast of a Remongron. I love, love, love them and love that folks are interested and are buying them. I am most fond of the triumphant ding at the end of a page. DING! So fun...I just recently found cleaned and listed a beautiful sea foam Hermes 3000, my new favorite! ;) more power to the manual typewriter.

    2 years ago

  • Dikristta

    Dikristta from Dikristta says:

    Hi very interesting. Before years I worked in a factory for typewrite machines and now I keep two of them in my home ---one wich can type an english language and the other can type my native bulgarian language

    2 years ago

  • thewomensrepublic

    Sara Brazil from SararaVintage says: Featured

    Wonderful post and reminder of their beauty, historical significance and uses! They represent one step away from the hand to paper- at least you can see touch and feel the letters in the real world as they appear--ah technology always changing. I am only in my 30's and it was the typewriter that taught me how to type not the computer! Love Love the colors!

    2 years ago

  • CamelsAndCustard

    Holly from CamelsAndCustard says:

    What a fantastic post! I draw city skylines, words and objects with my typewriter and make them into bookmarks. So I actually owe my business to my Royal typewriter!!

    2 years ago

  • HeatherLucille

    Heather Atkinson from HeatherLucille says:

    UGH. I STILL regret not taking a typing class in high school. I am a horrid hunter and pecker - I love my modern technology, but I find typing on my vintage typewriter very zen - even though I am slow as molasses in Winter!

    2 years ago

  • MiniatureRhino

    Jessica Marquez from MiniatureRhino says:

    Hey Lisa! So nice to see you round these parts. You know I loves me some typewriters, so I got all excited to read your post. It's funny too, I just posted about my typewriter love on my blog this week. Great minds.... great post!!

    2 years ago

  • TheIDconnection

    TheIDConnection from TheIDconnection says:

    I didn't realize these were so sought after! I just listed 2 :) Great article

    2 years ago

  • theretrokitchen

    theretrokitchen from theretrokitchen says:

    I have a beautiful Underwood, I actually brought it to the Antiques Roadshow a few years ago in Hartford, Connecticut and the appraiser told me it was worth only $25 and I my as well just bang on the keys. My typewriter is so beautiful, I thought the appraiser was a fool!

    2 years ago

  • snugglyugly
  • BanglewoodSupplies
  • kayvincent

    kay vincent from ketchuponeverything says:

    I do love my ipad but I do want to hear and feel the lovely tactile qualities of these beautiful things! Right now, want one. Nice to see the different colours

    2 years ago

  • LilyThings

    Elizabeth Lagasse from LillyThings says:

    Ahhh.....I can imagine the Clicks and Sounds of each Letter Printing on the Paper. That always made me feel so Studious and Smart as child while doing many Book Reports! Great PICKS!

    2 years ago

  • JonTurner

    Jon Turner from JonTurner says:

    I have a vintage 1930s Imperial 50 typewriter that I restored myself. Not only does it look amazing, it also gets used all the time (I use it to create my typewritten cufflinks and jewellery). It nearly broke my back when I bought it though- I foolishly decided to carry it home (more than a mile) rather than get it taken by car, and it is ridiculously heavy. I was feeling the burn for weeks! We always had several more modern (60s or 70s) typewriters in the house when I was little, and I loved playing on them (just happily banging out nonsense for hours on end)- sadly they all disappeared when we got our first PC in the mid-90s.

    2 years ago

  • BrooklynUnicorn

    Savannah from BrooklynUnicorn says:

    I love my Remington!

    2 years ago

  • ESTATENOW

    VINTAGE NOW from ESTATENOW says:

    I still have my IBM...

    2 years ago

  • MyGalleryOnline

    Louise from Conglomeration55 says:

    I learned to type on a manual typewriter in high school. I can type three times as fast on a computer keyboard, but I surely miss all the typing jobs that used to be available before the Computer Age.

    2 years ago

  • camamiel

    Ana Camamiel from camamiel says:

    Typewriters are so special. The memories they bring to me with their hypnotic sound and their beautiful design. Great article.

    2 years ago

  • Blairgbob

    www.BlairBarbour.com from BlairBarbour says:

    wrote my first book on one!

    2 years ago

  • allisonemilyn

    Allison from HistoryOfTheHeart says:

    Awesome information! I found an old green smith-corona at a thrift store a little while ago, in awesome condition, as of now it is just decoration on my book shelf but I think I may just have to clean it up and start using it.

    2 years ago

  • marieowltoinette

    Marie Owltoinette from marieowltoinette says:

    As a 90's child type writers were long-gone by the time I started typing. But my grandmother had a vintage one that still worked and she let me play with it. To me there was nothing more fun then pressing those buttons and seeing the small black letters appear before my eyes with a satisfying "click." Needless to say, I thought I was super cool.

    2 years ago

  • chanelecooper1

    Chanele Cooper says:

    Great article...now I want to get a typewriter!

    2 years ago

  • Blingup1

    Hatsuna from Blingup1 says:

    I never know a typewriter can be that adorable and so colorful!! especially for now a day it has been long gone by our high technology developer, sadly i never get to feel the typewrite nor knowing how they work to put the ink on to the paper.. Very interesting article! reminds us the revolution of technology, the ancestors of our keyboard!!

    2 years ago