Monday, April 4, 2016

Machine à écrire Safari

My wife and I took a machine à écrire safari, or, typewriter safari to Montreal, Quebec, Canada this past weekend for my birthday.  How lucky am I that my wife will allow me to drag her to "foreign lands" in search of typewriters.  Traveling to Montreal is a short two hour drive from my home in Vermont.  It's like having Europe next door.  As for the safari, I had scoped out a few shops the day before and was excited to find shops with multiple machines for sale.
This little shop looked promising, especially when I noticed a Corona 3 in the shop window.  But that excitement turned to disappointment when I found that this machine and the Underwood 4-bank inside were listed for hundreds of dollars and the other typewriters in the shop were Brothers for $60.  It was a fun shop, but they knew their "hipster" market.  

The next stop took me to the market street of St. Laurent to a funky shop called La Boutique du Collectionneur.  A local guide calls it a shop that is not for the faint of heart and it boasted a weird and wonderful collection of objects including a selection of typewriters.
Alas, the only machine I was interested in was a Facit until I noticed that it had an AZERTY layout.  I was in Canada's largest French speaking city after all.  I passed on the Facit and the owner told me about an Olympia that he had out back.  It was a wide carriage SM7 with the issue of the top three rows of keys not striking the platen.  I told him that a common issue with Olympias was worn out bushings and sure enough, the rubber on this machine looked pretty crispy.  I have not found this with my own Olympias so I am not sure if the bushings were the problem with this machine. I passed on this machine too.  My patient wife and I moved on to Montreal's museum of fine art and a nice dinner out before we drove back home. This was my first typewriter safari in a big city which, I learned, brought big city prices!

1 comment:

  1. I know the feeling. Here we get big city prices even in the small towns! ;)