Friday, July 25, 2008

just my type

on page one of the manual typewriter fanciers' association* manifesto and recipe book** it says, and i quote,

"the first phrase to be typed on any newly acquired machine must and shall always be 'it was a dark and stormy night'!"


and since i don't want my membership cancelled and my ribbons slashed, of course i have complied!

i have been casually wanting a manual typewriter for a while. not enough to pursue one actively...or pay big bucks...but in a "one of these days i will see one at a garage sale" kind of a way. and sure enough, during a recent weekend foray i spotted this baby. i paid $15 to the daughter of the woman who was its only previous owner. as a matter of fact, i don't think she cared about the money; i think she just wanted to sell it to someone who wanted to own it, rather than re-furbish or sell it. it's a royal portable. it's not super-old, i'm guessing late 60's or early 70's. all the keys, buttons, and levers work.*** it has a carrying case. the ribbons it takes are inexpensive and easily obtained.**** best of all, it goes *DING* at the end of each line. i love it!

now all i need is a pipe, and one of those jackets with the elbow patches, and my best-selling noir novel will practically write itself, dontcha think?! :)

*i just made that up...but yeah...there probably IS one!
**i made that up too...but if you find a copy, can you send me a link?
***the letter "I" sticks a bit...and i cannot for the life of me remember how to set margins...but that's hardly the machine's fault!
****i got 'em at EBS Scantracker where you select your brand/model of typewriter & they tell you what kind of ribbon you need!


  1. oh, that is waaaaaaaaaaaay cool!!! i will be first in line at amazon to pre~order your novel...please do keep us posted Lauren:)

  2. Oh that's great! My mum used to have one of those portable ones in a little case - I loved playing on it. The margins used to be set by a silver slidy thing (technical term) at each end of that silver bit (another technical term) behind the platten (real technical term)!

    Hope you have fun with her ... I think she needs a name though! Something 1970s secretary-ish like 'Dorothy' or 'Joan'?


    A KILLER buy!
    It WORKS!
    Takes EASILY OBTAINABLE ribbons!


  4. "...and the Captain said to his matey, 'Matey, tell your story.' And so the Matey told his story. It was a dark and stormy night and the Captain said to his matey, 'Matey, tell your story.' And so the Matey told his story..."

    Oh, that brings back memories! I played on my great grandmother's typewriter every time I visited her. She passed away when I was nine, and I got the typewriter! I don't know where it is now, or if my mom got rid of it. I would also play on my mom's typewriter at work, if she needed to work on the weekends (she was a secretary...her name is Joan!!!)

    Have fun!!! A great font to use on your fab cards and pages :)

  5. Do you ever have those moments when you see (or hear, or smell) something and it takes you right back to another time and place....i do and when i saw this typewriter it took me staight back to typing classes at the convent...with the evil sister klara, with whom i had a 3 year ongoing battle over the length of my fingernails! i know...totally random...but have fun with your new does look rather awesome...afraid i can't help you with the margin setting either as i have managed to block out all information relating to manual typewriters due to the mental trauma inflicted by the aforementioned sister klara!

    PS: i too will be anxiously awaiting your novel...though i suspect you would do better with something comedic rather than noir.

  6. I bought an older version of this machine at a thrift shop for cheap. it was really dirty, I used an air compressor (probably not recommended but it worked nicely) and baby wipes on each key arm thingey to get some of of the old goo off, seemed to help with the sticky keys. Have fun!

  7. I got my first typewriter like this one when I was about 4. It was bright yellow (I think it is why yellow has always been a fave colour of mine) I used to play secretary all the time and copy stories and write stories on it. It reluctantly (and with much pain) got given away when I got my electric typewriter which is sitting unused for the past decade.

    Thankyou for the memories and I hope you have a fun time with your new friend.

    Have a great day!

  8. Wow! It goes 'TING'! That is so cool. Although I'm not sure how you are going to turn that opening sentence into rom-com chick lit!


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