Earlier this week I got a email from a gentlemen in Bellingham, WA. He's the director of a little oddball museum (his words) called Mindport Exhibits (http://www.mindport.org/). His daughter found my blog and forwarded the link to her father. He totally identified with the "Luddite Alert" post and wanted to tell me how he felt about typewriters and computers. He told me a very nice story about how he found a Underwood Standard (circa 1906) discarded in a alleyway next to the museum. He took the machine and cleaned it up, did some repairs and had the platen replaced. Then he installed the machine by the front desk in the main exhibit area. Well, the Underwood became a huge hit with the kids and a popular attraction. Its all part of his belief that typewriters are showing a grand resurgence of popularity. I couldn't agree more. He then wrote about a friend of his who recently went up to Vancouver, B.C. and discovered a cafe with a row of typewriters in it instead of computers, all manned by people busy typing letters to their friends. I thought that this was just so neat! What's next, people typing in Starbucks. I smell a new trend here. Anyway, I love that people will take the time to write a letter or email and tell me a heartfelt story about how they feel. Or more importantly, how typewriters make them feel. I checked out the Mindport Exhibits website and it looks like a really cool place, full of interactive exhibits and activities. For people out in the Great Northwest, it sounds like a fun place to take the kids for an afternoon.
I needed to make a correction in last weeks blog. The picture of that beautiful burgundy machine was wrongly identified as a 1940 Corona Silent. Anyone paying attention saw that I goofed. It is a 1948 Smith Corona Silent. Whether it says Corona or Smith Corona on the faceplate ( above the top row of keys), the rule of thumb is, if it says Corona its pre-WWII, if it says Smith Corona, its post-WWII. I'm glad I straightened that out. These are gorgeous typewriters that are fun to type on. I personally love the touch on these keyboards. They are widely available and if your lucky, in different colors.
I tried unsuccessfully in my very first post to attach a story about the shop that was on the radio. Because I'm not computer savvy, its a problem trying to attach an audio file to this blog. Its a great story and I had a blast doing it with the reporter. There are several good typewriter stories in it. My daughter has just figured out a way now to add the audio file but it has to be done on a separate post. If it test out ok I'll post it right after this one. Wish me luck. See you next week.
This is so funny -- I exchange mailart/letters with his daughter, who also works at MindPort. In fact, just sent her a letter inside an envelope I mail with pages from a typewriter manual. Small (art) world!ReplyDelete
Typewriter stories are the best! I love hearing old timers tell of how they felt when computers began to displace the trusty typewriter. I'm only 31 and when a few of my older friends (60 or older, which isn't "old" but older than I am!) come to my house and see the collection of machines I have on display in every room, boy do I ever hear some great stories! Everything from for the type of banger they used in high school to the last one they owned before getting a computer. It makes the machines come alive! There are many reason I love typewriters, but the stories attached to them have to be at the top of the list!ReplyDelete
Thanks for your wonderful blog!
I was just telling my wife, a few months ago, that if I had an entrepreneurial mind about it, that I'd open a little coffee/sandwich shop and feature my typewriters on a counter. Each purchase would come with an envelope, stamp and sheet of paper, so they could sit and type someone a letter...ReplyDelete
Pretty cool that somebody has already done that!
Great post. I've had that coffee shop fantasy too! And I am delighted that it's a reality.ReplyDelete
With all due respect, I believe your flat-top Corona was pre-1939. Here's a useful rundown by Alan Seaver:
Oh yes..ps....I really, really want to go have coffee and type a letter...what a great idea.....ReplyDelete
Way to go, once again, Tom!ReplyDelete
I know I've told you the story of my Dad (as teenager), running back into a burning building to rescue his Royal Quiet Deluxe, which he still uses today. I'm so proud of him!
Thanks for the comments everyone. I knew you would like the cafe with typewriters in it.ReplyDelete
We might see that more in the future.
Thanks Richard, I second guessed myself. I'll check my facts better.
Didn't even know Mindport existed, and I lived in Bellingham for years. It's still in driving distance, so I am checking it out!ReplyDelete
I wonder if the Vancouver place mentioned happens to be the Regional Assembly of Text?
Thank you for your nice article on Cambridge type writer. I like for your good writing.
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