Thursday, September 23, 2010

Letters from home

Anyone who knows me knows I love old manual typewriters. Always have. Always will. Typewriters are truly magnificent mechanical devices. Their utter inscrutable complexity and the sheer weight of history they carry on their broad shoulders fascinates me. Just think: somehow America not only survived but grew and totally prospered when people only had #2 pencils and typewriters. Imagine this heavy thought--we fought two World Wars and sent a man to the moon with TYPEWRITERS!

Typewriters have long since been left in the dust of computers and Blackberries. But there are Old Throwbacks like me out there who love them Dearly. Every day when I sally forth to the T-stores, I hope and pray that I will find a really good old manual typewriter. It's one of the first things my eyes scan the T-stores for. Day after day after day it's always "NO LUCK!"

Today I scored! And it was due to an ironic twist. I found a strange clay piece at the Youth Ranch. I asked Staff what it was and no one knew. So, I asked if I could take it's photo to send to Goatherder. He would know. They agreed. So, I walked the clay piece over to a nearby flat surface in the furniture section and I about fainted. Here sat a vintage Royal typewriter hiding out in the furniture section! Well, naturally, I latched onto it and made it ours. It was $4. That soft gray crinkly powder coating in in perfect, unmarred condition.  The key faces are pristine. The trim is Art Deco! The case locks and the typewriter attaches snugly with four pivoting hinge like devices. So far, all the keys have checked out. Of course, it needs adjustment and a new ribbon but it's serviceable "as is."

From the looks of it, I'm guessing it dates to the 1940's but certainly no later than the early 1950's. With the case it weighs 16.6 pounds. I love those old gray powder coated mid 20th century industrial typewriters! This one has a 10 digit property number on the inside of the case lip. I'd be willing to guess it probably started its life out on the nearby (then) top secret nuclear lab. Who knows what secrets it may have tapped out with its keys? AH, mysteries.

This typewriter will get put in tiptop shape this fall and then travel down to Arizona with us. We don't have a computer printer there at the straw house. So, this machine will be our GO TO technology for writing "letters from home." When we were out at Bowery, we re-discovered our great love of writing typewritten letters. They are as much fun to receive as they are to type. There's something about a typewritten letter that is so tactile and endearing. Anyway, chances are many of you, if not ALL of you LBR's out there are going to receive one or more typewritten "letters from home." Even the envelope will be typewritten and, hopefully, we can find some throwback postage stamps to affix to the envelopes.

It was another VERY good day at the T-Stores! Doncha think?

Cheers, jp

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