What follows is a round-up/collection of typewriters I either purchased, used, or simply observed along the way on various wanders.
Assembled for historical reference and personal interest, with annotations and examples where possible.
This machine (brandname obscured by grunge) was purchased in Fort Galle, Sri Lanka in rather rough shape. Cleaned the keys with a toothbrush and solvent, added a new ribbon, attempted to repair the ribbon uptake (with limited success). The machine’s key produced a rather small typeface size making the cleaning of the worn down keys especially important. Banged out journals, letters and poems for a few months before moving on and leaving it behind.
Here’s a sample of the type produced by this machine – as evidenced, a little rough going but the keystrokes felt great and machine size was just right:
This lovely typewriter was found at a second-hand/grocery/miscellany store in the small town of Pe ELL, WA, USA (population approx 650) for around $20.
I was travelling light at the time but couldn’t resist the purchase, along with a large suitcase, both of which i then clumsily hauled around for the rest of my wander. By the time i returned “somewhere” i had to stash in storage and disappear again. As such, i’ve never *actually* sat down and typed something substantial with this lovely machine as yet,…
Comes with a grey clamshell case, though this machine is not “portable” per se, its a heavy metal beast with a wonderful burgundy-ish powdercoat.
This Underwood Universal was a gift to me when i was about 19 in 1989 living in my VW camper bus. Already well-used, this is/was the typewriter which guided me to love the analog touch and immediacy of a solid metal machine. And its made in Canada like me.
What follows are a few annotation about this machine and the creative works produced with its lovely keys.
While i had always had typewriters around (like me, my Mom and Grandpa were always making newsletters and other projects), they were usually the new electronic models of the day with “ball” type interfaces or the “wheel” kind. Of course, both required electricity which wasn’t an option for me in the van (most of the time anyhow). As such, me and this charming machine spent hours alone as i banged out postcards, missives and manifestos. No evidence handy from that era.
A walk around various car-free day festivals in Vancouver, 2008 with unedited soundstream of drum circles, live bands of various sorts (including several numbers by a Grateful Dead inspired band, a free jazz combo, a protesting singer-songwriter, and a Latin-esque outfit…), plus skateboards, slam poets, and a bassoon quartet playing “hockey night theme” among other tunes.