I had high hopes for finding typewriters this past weekend. That's right, I said typewriters. Montpelier had a city-wide tag sale with forty-two locations. I had dreamed of coming home with a number of typewriters in the trunk of my car. I started out early and went to almost every sale. I did find a couple of typewriters for sale, a 1970's Webster, a brand for a Japanese Brother machine and a 1980's Royal that was mostly plastic. Despite not seeing any interesting machines, I let people know what I was looking for. As always, most people are delighted when you talk about typewriters. A woman brought out her 1930's Remington Boxy Number 5. She had no plans to sell it but I did get to tell her about my Type-In and show her how to change the ribbon. I went to one last church tag sale which was closing up, again no typewriters but there was a nice woman named Pam who said she might still have her old Olympia at home. She gave me her number and said she would check. Well, she did have that Olympia, Serial #3036572, a 1967 SM8.
You can see from the pictures, this machine is in
I have never seen mechanicals this clean!
I have a new ribbon on order and will send a typecast from this machine soon!
I had a guest typewriter in my office at school today. I mentioned how much my daughter loved the typewriter that I got her last summer to one of my teachers. She got her own daughter this lovely Underwood Standard portable from the 1920's and brought it by to show me. Her daugher loved it as well and has vowed to collect more vintage machines.
I didn't get a chance to check the serial number to find the exact age of this Underwood, but Machines of Loving Grace talks about this smallest of the Underwoods being made between 1919 and 1929. This little portable was in great shape with just a little bit of worn off paint. The visit was short however as this Underwood has gone back home to its grateful owner.
The Buzz is building for Vermont's first Type-In at the Maglianero Cafe on June 6th from 2-5PM! It's amazing to hear from everyone I tell about the event "Oh, I love typewriters." Drop in to this event if you love typewriters too. You can bring one of your own or play with the typewriters at the event - I am bringing three or four myself!
I had great typewriter fortune today. I found a 1941 Corona Zephyr Deluxe on Craigslist and drove up to the Lake Champlain islands to pick it up. It was owned by a nice woman who was selling her lake house and clearing out some items. This Zephyr is in great shape. A lot of the keys were stuck, but I was pretty sure that was due to disuse. I was right and a little bit of cleaning and a light lube got the keys working again. I will be posting more about this typewriter soon and will certainly be bringing it to the Type-In. Until then, I will be typing by the lake!
I was pleased to see that Margot Harrison mentioned Vermont's first Type-In on her Lit News blog post for Seven Days. Margot writes
"When I was 9, I got my first typewriter, a green manual Olivetti. I prized it as my only way to produce the printed word. And if someone had told me that in the year 2015 young people would be using manual typewriters for fun and not because they had to, I might've spat chocolate milk at them."
I hope that Margot can bring her Olivetti to the Type-In and I am sure she will not spit milk at us!
I have learned that it pays to let people know that you are collecting typewriters. So that is why I asked the young lady who works at the trash depot if she ever came across any typewriters. She said that she actually did have one at home and would bring it by- which was weeks and weeks ago. Today my patience paid off when I dropped off my trash and she told me that she had that typewriter in her car. I had pretty much already decided that I would buy whatever she had brought so it was a fantastic surprise to see that she had a beautiful SM3 in the trunk of her car. I asked her how much she wanted for it and she said, "I don't know, make me an offer." I said $10 and it was mine. Ten bucks! I took it home and while I've only checked it out a bit, it seems in perfect shape. Even the cool batmobile-like case is in great shape. More to come for sure on this typer!