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I remember it as almost a magical moment, that first introduction. It was a boring Friday afternoon and my parents had dragged my younger sister an I six hours away to visit my Uncle who had recently moved to a small town after having lived in a cabin deep in the woods for years. He was a retired Park Ranger and avid writer and storyteller. When we got there we explored to old house for a little while before being told to go entertain ourselves outside. My uncle took pity on us after a while and asked if we wanted to help him with a project which included moving some boxes from the crowded garage into the house. However, all my attention quickly shifted as soon as I laid eyes on it. Next to a large pile of boxes, caked in dust was a big metal Underwood typewriter. I pointed to it and asked whether it worked and I remember the little twinkle in his eye as he looked down at the thing in front of us. "I haven't used this one in years. Maybe if you help me we can get it typing again." And with that he picked it up, told me to open doors for him because it "weighed more than an elephant", and set it down on the kitchen table. And that became our entire weekend project. He took out his toolbox and we spent our time working together to clean it and repair it as much as we could with the parts available to us. By the following night we had it in working order and I spent the rest of the time typing away with a determination to one day be an author like him. Did that happen? No, I was just being ambitious for a 12 year old. However, even years later, his friends knew me as his niece that liked working with his typewriters. Upon his far too early death we discovered he had never written a will, and like always there was a bit of bickering over how his estate would be divided amongst his siblings and friends since he was without a wife or children. Despite the squabbles, there was one thing that was never up for debate and that was that I would get the beautiful Underwood that he always kept waiting for me every time my parents decided they were up for the six hour drive.
That started a love of not just collecting and using typewriters, but also repairing them. For the last couple years my main hobby has been finding and buying very heavily used and abused typewriters and slowly cleaning and repairing them until they are in working order. I am always learning so many new things as I go and work on different models so any information or cool facts is always much appreciated. I currently have about 12 in my collection, three of which are serious restoration projects that I expect to take me a while to finish. However, the typewriter database has been an invaluable tool as I have worked on these projects and I am so grateful for everyone who has put their time and energy into preserving these amazing machines