My first typewriter memory takes me back to my first day of high school, back in 1996. My ninth grade homeroom was the typewriter classroom.
I don’t even think I used those typewriters or had a typewriting class. Maybe that room or class was getting phased out. I wonder how that teacher felt about the popularity of computers and if she hung onto the analog world as much as possible.
As my mind remembers, there was a fight in that room on day one, and I believe a typewriter or two was thrown. My first memory of typewriters involves these amazing pieces of machinery being used as a weapon.
Fast forward twenty-five years, and I was buying my very first typewriter at the age of thirty-eight.
Outside of the endpoints of that twenty-five year span, I honestly can’t remember much if any typewriter use, besides the occasional “look at those old things, damn they look cool” comments throughout my travels. It’s weird how we can admire something from a distance but never act on it or take the next step.
I do remember watching a couple typewriter documentaries early last year, and maybe that forced me to pull the trigger and buy one.
I knew I didn’t know how to work on these things, so I wanted my first one to be ready to type and be fully checked out. I found a guy on eBay that fixes old units and installs new ribbons and ships them with the most protection possible (I’ve heard of many units being shipped, only to be opened up by the customer, revealing a damaged typer).
I went back and forth on many units of the course of a month or two, and finally won a 1957 Smith-Corona Clipper with an optional Sterling model page holder. In a gray/tan color with green keys. It was pricey in my opinion, but the description the seller wrote, along with a YouTube sample video, and his 100% seller feedback from past customers, he seemed like the most knowledgeable typewriter repair guy out there, so I felt ok paying $200-$300 for a completely refurbished unit that is about 65 years old.
Since May 2021, I’ve been typing on it often. Almost daily. It’s now my favorite way to write.
And since then, I’ve purchased two more units, and I’m working with a couple other people to acquire a couple more units. These are 40+ years old as well, but are not completely gone through. I want to learn on these cheaper typewriters how to clean and fix them, while I can still type on my trusty Smith-Corona.
So with that being said, I came up with the Typewriter Garage name as a place to create content around my love of these old typewriters. Maybe I’ll fix and resell them, maybe I’ll just have a cool collection in my studio (or my garage too), or who knows what the future has in store for me and this amazing analog technology.