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Recently, while browsing an antique story with rosepurr, I bought two old typewriters - one Underwood and one Remington. They don't work. Their ribbons are old and shredded. Some of their keys are worn. I suppose with some time, energy and money, they could be repaired and brought to proper working order. But the fact is I keep them because I like how they look. I imagine Kerouac hunched over one, dropping cigarette ash into it as he furiously clacks away or Hemingway typing one-handed as he reaches for a glass of Scotch with the other. By having one in each of my offices (one at home, one at work), I feel connected to that. It also reminds me that I have better tools for writing now.

I learned to type on an IBM Selectric. I think my typing class was the last one to use them. While I was there, they were replaced with 286's. I took typing so I could my thoughts down faster, my handwriting being too slow. Besides, there's something about seeing neat lettering rather than my chicken scratch.

As a Luddite, a romantic and an aspiring writer, I couldn't resist buying the old things for inspiration.

As I drove in to work this morning, I heard this story on NPR this story and thoroughly loved it. It made me feel good. There are those, young and old, who still love the way typewriters look and feel. The photo gallery on the website (obviously not included on the radio) is awesome.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
baxaphobia
Mar. 2nd, 2009 09:22 pm (UTC)
I've typed since I was 10 years old. As a VI child the powers that be did one thing right by starting my typing lessons early. They didn't feel that Braille was important but that was taken care of privately. I just recently gave away my old Smith Carona electric typewriter with the cartridge ribbons. Smile.
thndrstd
Mar. 2nd, 2009 09:42 pm (UTC)
While I learned on an IBM Selectric, I owned a Smith Carona electric at home. It was great and sometimes I miss it.
baxaphobia
Mar. 2nd, 2009 10:06 pm (UTC)
Yeah. Computer keyboards don't make that cook clack clack sound.
thndrstd
Mar. 2nd, 2009 10:12 pm (UTC)
It's true. They talked about that in the NPR story. Computer keyboards make some noise, but it's a muted sound that's just not as appealing.
dabhug
Mar. 2nd, 2009 09:37 pm (UTC)
Way cool.
thndrstd
Mar. 2nd, 2009 09:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks.
lareinenoire
Mar. 2nd, 2009 10:30 pm (UTC)
Oh, that is a gorgeous typewriter. I have a dream of someday owning one of those steampunk keyboards with antique typewriter keys. Yes, it's cheating, but still.
thndrstd
Mar. 2nd, 2009 11:04 pm (UTC)
Hahahaha! Hooray for steampunk keyboards!
rosepurr
Mar. 3rd, 2009 01:52 am (UTC)
I love you, my handsome, old fashioned, luddite.
thndrstd
Mar. 3rd, 2009 03:46 pm (UTC)
YAY!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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