My first typewriter was an Olympia Delux portable, given to me by my parents as I was finishing high school. The Royal arrived 10 years later. I'd made it through graduate school, had a good job, and was recently married. Looking through the kitchen window of our apartment in Reno, Nevada, I spied this Royal poking out of the top of a neighbor's garbage can.
I've always enjoyed refurbishing fine old mechanical things, and the Royal fit well into that category. It didn't take much to get it going, and it became a member of the family, filling out pages in a little 3-ring notebook cataloging my collection of reel-to-reel tapes, and filling up a box of 3x5 index cards cataloging my negatives.
Refurbishing my office a few years ago meant that it had to go into storage in one of those plastic bins. But early in 2013 the latent glow of a typewriter collecting obsession was fanned into flames when I came up with the idea of sending letters to my many children and grandchildren. A dusty hunt through the storage moraine unearthed it, only to find that the platten had disintegrated. Panic. But itt turned out there are folks that fix these things, quickly and reasonably. And now this lovely machine is back in a place of honor, cranking out letters that even elicit the occasional response. More typewriters have been acquired, but the Royal remains closest to my heart, alongside my sturdy gray Olympia.
Status: Typewriter Hunter
Almost at the same instant that the idea occurred to me of how much fun it might be for my children (7) and grandchildren (13) to get letters - real letters in the mail - i went digging through the dusty nether regions of our storage area to pull out my beloved 1957 Olympia SM3 Portable and the old Royal 10 I'd rescued from a neighbor's garbage can in the 1960's. Refurbishing them triggered a typewriter obsession. Don't tell my wife, but i believe there are now about 20 of them.
I love their looks, their intricate and precise mechanisms, and dinking around in the workshop tuning them up and bringing them back to life. i also, unfortunately, love the thrill of the hunt on eBay. But all of them are put to use for correspondence and my new hobby of decorated art letters. And sometimes they even inspire a bit of poetry.
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