Machines of Loving Grace
The typewriters in my life
When asked "Why typewriters?" I answer that they have "mechanical elegance." Manual typewriters are incredibly complex devices inside their cast-iron cases, and unlike modern equipment they are completely self-sufficient, able to function in almost any environment, without electricity, relying only on your input. They don't blink, hum, beep, or tell you when you've made a mistake (thus forcing you to pay attention to your work). Each keystroke generates a satisfying whack, making your words seem somehow solid and valid.
My collection is modest compared to most. I am fairly selective (I don't particularly like the post-1930s streamliners), and I don't like to overpay for a specimen, as I feel happens too frequently in venues like eBay. (Disclaimer: I have bought many of my machines over eBay. It is a wonderful forum that makes it easier to locate hard-to-find items. However, it's sometimes harder to get a machine for a fair price.) Mine is probably the least impressive collection you'll find, but it will slowly grow over the years.
I consider there
to be three staples of every collection:
The Underwood #5: what most people think of when they think of old manual typewriters. One of the most popular lines ever, with over 4 million sold. The Commodore 64 of the 1920s.
The Corona #3 folding portable: this little cutie's platen folded down and over the keyboard to fit in its case. Again, a very common machine, but sometimes high-priced due to its popularity.
The "flying" Oliver: again, popular due to it's unusual side-stroke winged appearance. The most common are the #3, #5, and #9, though I have seen a few #7s and #11s.