In the olden days before computers people used typewriters...
The other day I took a little time to photograph all of the typewriters I own and am now presenting each of their stories.
What started as my mother's typewriter when she was in school is the portable Smith-Corona shown above. Just as she had this machine at college, so did I and it still works as well as when I first used it in the 7th grade!
This Royal portable was in my grandparents' Manhattan apartment for many years and when they brought it to their house in the country I made some use of it. The dual colored ribbon was a special feature for typing colorful reports.
Also, from my grandparents' came this very heavy Royal office typewriter. I have typed recipes and reports in my younger days when I was at their house. The machine made me feel like I was a reporter typing my article for the daily newspaper.
This rugged IBM Executive electric typewriter was a machine I purchased at the first auction I ever attended that had business equipment to bid on. I recall I paid around $100 for it in light bidding. This was one of the early pieces of equipment I bought for my design business when I started up in '78. Back when IBM still had a retail location in Westchester County I stopped in to buy the manual for the machine and extra carbon ribbons.
The Brother electric typewriter. This is the third typewriter I bought that was manufactured by Brother. In the '80s the first two typewriters were connected to Macs and PCs with an interface that allowed the typewriters to be used as printers. Eventually, I switched over to laser printers for 100% of this function, but I was grateful that Brother made available the interface for those earlier years of computing.
In a return to earlier days of typewriting, I bought this IBM Selectric on Ebay for about $100, which is far less than I would have spent when Selectrics were new and all the rage. Some readers may remember the famous TV writer Stephen J. Cannell shown at the end of each of his TV show creations pulling a finished page of manuscript out of his Selectric and releasing it into midair where it floated away.
Both this IBM machine and the older Executive model are very heavy which makes them radically different from contemporary typewriters such as the Brother model which contains more plastic than steel.
These days if I am using one of these typewriters it mostly to type out a label or address an envelope. No book reports or term papers as in my younger days to type on these machines and I'd use a computer, anyway, for those purposes!
Photos and text are ©2012 by B+Co., Inc.