Where have all the typewriters gone?

Back in the late eighties I used to write on an old Imperial typewriter that had belonged to my grandfather. It was a lovely object, all shiny black and circle whites that made your fingers exercise - tactile interaction aurally underlined by the rhythm of black letters hammered onto organic white. A crumpled pack of Lucky Strikes by its side (hey! it was the 20th century. I used to smoke!) and piles of second-hand paperbacks were accessories to a pulp cult feel.

And this type of object wasn't confined to my student bedroom in a terraced house in west yorkshire (most probably once occupied by a textile-mill worker). For over a century these writing machines were everywhere. In offices, homes and typing schools across continents.

Business transactions were spelt out, novels were created and declared dead on typewriters. Until the early nineties they featured heavily in film. They even went electric, like a guitar.

And then they disappeared. Just like that. And the question, in actual, pratical terms, is: where have all the typewriters gone?


(image source)

July 07, 2004 | 09:15 PM

One's here mate: http://www.interaction-ivrea.it/en/gallery/22pop/index.asp

Posted by: fabio at July 8, 2004 11:39 AM

I have one. It was a bit of a pain to get the ribbon for it but it works.

Posted by: Joerg at July 8, 2004 09:57 PM

Well, that's 2 accounted for :-)

Joerg, do you use yours?

Posted by: ashley at July 8, 2004 11:32 PM

I used to. Now, I've got too lazy for anything.

Posted by: Joerg at July 12, 2004 05:38 PM

Hi Ashley,

The answer to your question, "Where have all the typewriters gone?" is that a large number of them have gone to my website at www.portabletypewriters.com from where you shamelessly lifted your item without permission!

Keep on blogging
Richard Milton

Posted by: Richard Milton at July 16, 2004 12:24 AM

Dear Richard,

You're right: I'm a shameless image thief. A jpeg kleptomaniac!

But never a bandwidth bandit! And I always leave an "a href" trail back to the scene of the crime.

Your site is an excellent resource by the way.

Posted by: ashley at July 16, 2004 11:08 AM