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Long Live the Typewriter

Feb 23, 2012

by Lisa Butterworth

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

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!

Dropping PRICE  ..Corona Folding No3 Typewriter... Vintage for the writer... carrying Case... Great Condition...
Dropping PRICE ..Corona Folding No3 Typewriter... Vintage for the writer... carrying Case... Great Condition...
Sold
Revitalized Gold Underwood Quiet Tab De Luxe Typewriter Professionally Refurbished Portable & Two New Ribbons
Revitalized Gold Underwood Quiet Tab De Luxe Typewriter Professionally Refurbished Portable & Two New Ribbons
Sold
PROFESSIONALLY SERVICED Turquoise Blue Royal Quiet De Luxe Typewriter w/ Case, Owners Manual, New Ribbon
PROFESSIONALLY SERVICED Turquoise Blue Royal Quiet De Luxe Typewriter w/ Case, Owners Manual, New Ribbon
Sold
Red Underwood Typewriter in Original Case with Manual
Red Underwood Typewriter in Original Case with Manual
Sold
Vintage yellow manual  typewriter - Privileg 350T from Europe
Vintage yellow manual typewriter - Privileg 350T from Europe
Sold
Typewriter. Black Remington Noiseless Portable Typewriter. Industrial. Antique Typewriter. Home Decor. Office. Library. Study. Vestiesteam.
Typewriter. Black Remington Noiseless Portable Typewriter. Industrial. Antique Typewriter. Home Decor. Office. Library. Study. Vestiesteam.
Sold
1960s Smith Corona Corsair Deluxe Typewriter
1960s Smith Corona Corsair Deluxe Typewriter
Sold
Underwood Leader Typewriter With Case
Underwood Leader Typewriter With Case
Sold
Reserved for Kathy - Orange Olivetti Typewriter PROFESSIONALLY SERVICED including new rubber platten
Reserved for Kathy - Orange Olivetti Typewriter PROFESSIONALLY SERVICED including new rubber platten
Sold
REM RAND BANTAM teaching typewriter, with carry case
REM RAND BANTAM teaching typewriter, with carry case
Sold

3 Featured Comments

  • vintagenowandthen

    vintagenowandthen from vintagenowandthen said 4 years ago 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.

  • tresundesigns

    Lauren from tresundesigns said 4 years ago 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!

  • thewomensrepublic

    Sara Brazil from SararaVintage said 4 years ago 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!

144 comments

  • tigersanddragons

    tigersanddragons from TigersandDragons said 4 years ago

    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.

  • TipsyTimeMachine

    TipsyTimeMachine from TipsyTimeMachine said 4 years ago

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

  • Bmbyx

    Olga from Bmbyx said 4 years ago

    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.

  • mtraub

    Michelle Traub from mtraub said 4 years ago

    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

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 4 years ago

    Love these typewriters!!!

  • myvintagecrush

    Kathleen from myvintagecrush said 4 years ago

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

  • cjwdesignvillage

    Cynthia J Williams from CJWDesignVillage said 4 years ago

    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.

  • cabbagepatchgirls

    Pollock Sisters from cabbagepatchgirls said 4 years ago

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

  • rivahside

    rivahside said 4 years ago

    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!!

  • vynsimplicity

    Melissa Mulder from VyntageBlooms said 4 years ago

    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!

  • Bmbyx

    Olga from Bmbyx said 4 years ago

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

  • paperrevolver

    paperrevolver from PaperRevolver said 4 years ago

    love it

  • miriammacke

    Miriam Macke said 4 years ago

    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...

  • bagladybooty

    bagladybooty from bagladybooty said 4 years ago

    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!

  • OnlyOriginalsByAJ

    AJ Marsden from OnlyOriginalsByAJ said 4 years ago

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

  • IkvothaMashiach70

    Gabrielle Knight from RuffleNBustle said 4 years ago

    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.

  • ykurtsman

    Jenya from GoldAntlers said 4 years ago

    What a great post. Thanks!

  • laceylamb

    Heather from HBoydStudio said 4 years ago

    Thanks for the information!

  • jacksredbarn

    Sarah and Devyn from jacksredbarn said 4 years ago

    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

  • WingedWorld

    Vickie Moore from WingedWorld said 4 years ago

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

  • StrandRedesign

    Unni Strand from StrandRedesign said 4 years ago

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

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage said 4 years ago

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

  • Demoriam

    Debra Gordon from DGordonDesigns said 4 years ago

    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!

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat said 4 years ago

    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!

  • paramountvintage

    kristin from blackmoonsky said 4 years ago

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

  • Parachute425

    Terry from Parachute425 said 4 years ago

    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!

  • uniquefabricgifts

    Unique Fabric Gifts from uniquefabricgifts said 4 years ago

    Great article! Thanks for the post!

  • shimmerwing

    Laura from shimmerwing said 4 years ago

    Love that first pink one!

  • shootfromcanada

    Amy Kenny from shootfromcanada said 4 years ago

    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!

  • Challand

    Sharon Challand from Challand said 4 years ago

    Fun to see the vintage typewriters!

  • ThreadLockPress

    Lindsay Lusby from ThreadLockPress said 4 years ago

    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!

  • creativechai

    Dave Rowley from creativechai said 4 years ago

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

  • AuntieJeansAttic

    Jean Gillmore from AuntieJeansAttic said 4 years ago

    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.

  • bunnyingitup

    Siana Thomas said 4 years ago

    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.

  • teresadeleen

    Teresa from TeresaDeLeen said 4 years ago

    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!

  • 2bloomsdesignstudio

    Michelle from twobloomsds said 4 years ago

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

  • ChrissiesRibbons

    Kevie from LittleFridayDesigns said 4 years ago

    adore x

  • mikiheather

    Heather Butler from MikiandHeather said 4 years ago

    I'd love one!

  • vintagenowandthen

    vintagenowandthen from vintagenowandthen said 4 years ago 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.

  • aranworld

    Aran Johnson from aranworld said 4 years ago

    @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.

  • tresundesigns

    Lauren from tresundesigns said 4 years ago 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!

  • whatsit

    Candice from blissfulfinds said 4 years ago

    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.......

  • DeweysNook

    Victoria Benenati from DeweysNook said 4 years ago

    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....

  • nerdnest

    Megan and Jake Anderson from nerdnest said 4 years ago

    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 :)

  • mochamint36

    Shannon from FreshlyFallenDesigns said 4 years ago

    LOVE the PINK Typewriter!

  • lisaleigh1

    Lisa Leigh from LisaLeighPhotography said 4 years ago

    So many cool looking typewriters!

  • Brooklynretro

    Brooklynretro from BrooklynRetro said 4 years ago

    GREAT ARTICLE!

  • Ottoman

    Summer from Ottoman said 4 years ago

    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!

  • rmhoffmann

    Ron Hoffmann from rmhoffmann said 4 years ago

    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.

  • TheMillineryShop

    Marcia Lacher from TheMillineryShop said 4 years ago

    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?

  • Waterrose

    Rose Waterrose from Waterrose said 4 years ago

    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

  • thoughtfullyadorned

    Lesley Chandler from thoughtfullyadorned said 4 years ago

    Oh I love the pink one too!

  • gilstrapdesigns

    Debra Gilstrap from gilstrapdesigns said 4 years ago

    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.

  • thoughtfullyadorned

    Lesley Chandler from thoughtfullyadorned said 4 years ago

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

  • asm1234

    asm1234 said 4 years ago

    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!

  • piahathaikan

    Pia Hathaikan from NailspampersPia said 4 years ago

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

  • SusiesBoutiqueTLC

    SusiesBoutiqueTLC from SusiesBoutiqueTLC said 4 years ago

    Great article. Thank you.

  • junquegypsy

    junquegypsy from junquegypsy said 4 years ago

    "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

  • csburdick

    csburdick from callmebrazen said 4 years ago

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

  • pincushioncrazy346

    Carole from PincushionCrazy said 4 years ago

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

  • importeyedea

    KatrinaJayKay from ImportEyedea said 4 years ago

    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!).

  • TheSavageGarden

    TheSavageGarden from TheSavageGarden said 4 years ago

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

  • RetroRevivalBoutique

    RetroRevivalBoutique from RetroRevivalBoutique said 4 years ago

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

  • optic

    Rhonda from opticdesign said 4 years ago

    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.

  • FrozenTimePhoto

    Brandon Addis from BrandonAddisArt said 4 years ago

    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!

  • HandmadeIsAllAround

    HandmadeIsAllAround from iammieOWLshop said 4 years ago

    Interesting post! The typewrites look classy today. :)

  • sweetsarahcardsandtr

    Sarah M. from sweetsarahpatisserie said 4 years ago

    Fabulous article!

  • dottywalker

    Dotty Walker from SewThoughtfulBlanket said 4 years ago

    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.

  • TresChicNmodern

    TresChicNmodern from TresChicNmodern said 4 years ago

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

  • KMalinka

    Natalia from KMalinkaVintage said 4 years ago

    Awesome post!

  • timelessmuse

    CJ from timelessmuse said 4 years ago

    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.

  • PruAtelier

    Jeanne B from PruAtelier said 4 years ago

    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!

  • EnterpriseAmericana

    Enterprise Americana from EnterpriseAmericana said 4 years ago

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

  • DiscordVintage

    Discord Vintage from DiscordVintage said 4 years ago

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

  • DiscordVintage

    Discord Vintage from DiscordVintage said 4 years ago

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

  • alopexia

    Shelia Day from alopexia said 4 years ago

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

  • Stargazer02

    Stargazer02 from LDesigns02 said 4 years ago

    i love all these colors!

  • sandboxcastle

    H Wang from sandboxcastle said 4 years ago

    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 )

  • katrinaalana

    Katrina Alana from KatrinaAlana said 4 years ago

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

  • LANCERIKA

    erika from lancerika said 4 years ago

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

  • cottonbirddesigns

    Angela Cotton from CottonBirdDesigns said 4 years ago

    Great article!

  • peshka

    Peshka from Peshka said 4 years ago

    Love it!

  • goodbeads

    goodbeads from goodbeads said 4 years ago

    How great the human be...Love them.

  • LisasCottage

    LisaSD from LisasCottage said 4 years ago

    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!

  • Cecil2

    Lisa from Cecil2 said 4 years ago

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

  • mariacruz3

    Maria Cruz from BabyLoveknitting said 4 years ago

    Great :)

  • MORGRANA

    Emma G. from dreammor said 4 years ago

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

  • MangoTango

    Bev Gallerani from MangoTango said 4 years ago

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

  • xZOUix

    Zoui from XZOUIX said 4 years ago

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

  • eversolovely

    Ever So Lovely from EverSoLovely said 4 years ago

    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 :)

  • typeStyles

    Custom Stamps and Printing from typeStyles said 4 years ago

    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.

  • AutumnLeavesJewelry

    Carolyn S. Miller from AutumnLeavesJewelry said 4 years ago

    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

  • adrianaallenllc

    Adriana Allen from adrianaallenllc said 4 years ago

    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.

  • LittleWrenPottery

    Victoria Baker from LittleWrenPottery said 4 years ago

    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!

  • cowriegirl

    cowriegirl from cowriegirl said 4 years ago

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

  • BurkeHareCo

    Erica from BurkeHareCo said 4 years ago

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

  • redemptionart

    Connie Haskell from redemptionart said 4 years ago

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

  • garbiedog

    Devon said 4 years ago

    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.

  • aromacandles

    Laura from aromacandles said 4 years ago

    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

  • MuseandMurse

    MuseandMurse said 4 years ago

    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. :-)

  • mattyhandmadecrafts

    Matejka Max from NattyMatty said 4 years ago

    Love it!!!

  • MishaGirl

    Michelle from MishaGirl said 4 years ago

    Oh the memories....;-)

  • funnydays

    funnydays from funnydays said 4 years ago

    Love it!!!

  • llcourtney

    llcourtney from llcourtney said 4 years ago

    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.

  • bkjamjets

    bkjamjets said 4 years ago

    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!

  • VintageRescueSquad

    VintageRescueSquad from VintageRescueSquad said 4 years ago

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

  • BunnyHillFarms

    BunnyHillFarms said 4 years ago

    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.

  • Retroburgh

    Linda and Jigger from Retroburgh said 4 years ago

    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. :)

  • emilythomas884

    emilythomas884 said 4 years ago

    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.

  • atomiclivinhome

    Robin Grattarola from atomiclivinhome said 4 years ago

    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!

  • L2Country

    L2Country from L2Country said 4 years ago

    Fun Article. ...I love Typewriters!

  • DelilahsAttic

    Madeleine Keller from ThoseGoodVibrations said 4 years ago

    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!

  • someprintfolks

    Jessica Bourque from someprintfolks said 4 years ago

    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....

  • LaurFace

    Laura Vrcek said 4 years ago

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

  • monicannone

    Monica Cannone from TheVintageTherapy said 4 years ago

    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

  • joevintage

    joevintage from joevintage said 4 years ago

    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

  • accessoryalamode

    Deborah McGovern from deborahmcgovern said 4 years ago

    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.

  • accessoryalamode

    Deborah McGovern from deborahmcgovern said 4 years ago

    typo...meant Make a statement.

  • SwanSoon

    Swan Soon from SwanSoon said 4 years ago

    Magnificent pictures ... and typewriters !

  • KettleConfections

    KettleConfections from KettleConfections said 4 years ago

    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.

  • uniquecozytreasures

    Deb from uniquecozytreasures said 4 years ago

    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.

  • thevelvetheart

    Melanie Beth from thevelvetheart said 4 years ago

    There is nothing like a vintage typewriter!

  • MaisJamais

    Jennifer from MaisJamais said 4 years ago

    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.

  • Dikristta

    Dikristta from Dikristta said 4 years ago

    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

  • thewomensrepublic

    Sara Brazil from SararaVintage said 4 years ago 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!

  • CamelsAndCustard

    Holly from CamelsAndCustard said 4 years ago

    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!!

  • HeatherLucille

    Heather Atkinson from HeatherLucille said 4 years ago

    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!

  • MiniatureRhino

    Jessica Marquez from MiniatureRhino said 4 years ago

    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!!

  • TheIDconnection

    TheIDConnection from TheIDconnection said 4 years ago

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

  • theretrokitchen

    theretrokitchen from theretrokitchen said 4 years ago

    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!

  • snugglyugly

    Indira Villalobos from snugglyugly said 4 years ago

    great post.

  • BanglewoodSupplies

    BanglewoodSupplies from BanglewoodSupplies said 4 years ago

    I WANT ONE!

  • kayvincent

    kay vincent from ketchuponeverything said 4 years ago

    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

  • LilyThings

    Elizabeth Lagasse from LillyThings said 4 years ago

    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!

  • JonTurner

    Jon Turner from JonTurner said 4 years ago

    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.

  • BrooklynUnicorn

    Savannah from BrooklynUnicorn said 4 years ago

    I love my Remington!

  • ESTATENOW

    VINTAGE NOW from ESTATENOW said 4 years ago

    I still have my IBM...

  • MyGalleryOnline

    Louise from Conglomeration55 said 4 years ago

    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.

  • camamiel

    Ana Camamiel from camamiel said 4 years ago

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

  • Blairgbob

    www.BlairBarbour.com from BlairBarbour said 4 years ago

    wrote my first book on one!

  • allisonemilyn

    Allison from HistoryOfTheHeart said 4 years ago

    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.

  • marieowltoinette

    Marie Owltoinette from marieowltoinette said 4 years ago

    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.

  • chanelecooper1

    Chanele Cooper said 4 years ago

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

  • Blingup1

    Hatsuna from Blingup1 said 4 years ago

    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!!

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