Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Why Do I Have So Many Typewriters?

It's been awhile since I've posted on my blog (it's actually been since mid-January - yikes). Being a full-time PhD student, working several jobs, and spending time with my family usually leaves little time for anything else, but since the final semester of my third-year of my doctoral program is wrapping up this week, I thought I'd write a post about something I get asked frequently: Why do I have so many typewriters? And that's usually followed up with: How much did it cost you to get all of these typewriters?

I love collecting antiques, and I have many cherished pieces in my home that I've collected from various places, but my typewriter collection is very special to me since I'm a writer, as well. At this point in time, I own eight typewriters, but for the purposes of this post, I'm going to focus on the seven manual typewriters I have at home. (I have one electric Smith & Corona I picked up at Goodwill and it's in my office at work). Of the seven manual typewriters I have, I've only paid for one of them and the rest were given to me. Interesting, right? I've discovered that not everyone is as fond of these giant metal typing devices as I am, and people have given me typewriters that they've found or accumulated when they find out I collect them.

Here are my manual typewriters and a bit of the story behind how I came to be in possession of each of them:

This is the first typewriter I ever got, and it's a Royal. Justin knew I had been wanting one, so he picked this one up for me at an antique shop in downtown Mishawaka about five years ago. I think he paid around $50 for it, and this is the only typewriter in my collection that we paid for. This one is special to me because it's the first one I got, and my husband gave it to me as a gift. 

These two typewriters were given to me by my friends, Tim and Bobbie, about three years ago. Tim was helping his mother clean her basement and she didn't want them anymore, so he surprised me with them. Both are Royals, and Tim also gave me a typewriter stand, which is what the top typewriter is sitting on. 

Doug, someone I knew from my previous church, told me he found this L.C. Smith typewriter in his attic and asked if I wanted it. I've had to get creative with where to put all of the typewriters in my house, and this one is under the typewriter stand that one of the Royals sits on. 

My friend Shelly was at an estate sale and told me this Antares Parva typewriter (I did some research - it's an Italian brand) was for sale for $5.00. She picked it up for me and I love this particular typewriter because of its unique color and the fact that it nestles in the cover/carrying case that goes over the top of it. (I did give Shelly $5.00 for this one, so I guess I technically did pay for it, but I paid WAY less than what it's worth). 

Bruce, another friend from our old church, gave me this gorgeous compact Corona typewriter as a gift. This one is so unique and folds down to fit in the carrying case it sits in. It's in great condition and sits on top of my antique White sewing machine.

This is my latest gifted typewriter, and it's an Underwood that was given to me by my childhood best friend's mother, Cindy. It was her husband's grandmother's typewriter (if I'm remembering correctly), and I feel very privileged that they entrusted me with this. My dad helped me clean this one up, and after some research, we *think* it may be the oldest one I have. From what we can tell, it's from the 1920s and was the most common Underwood model. Like I said, I'm running out of space for the typewriters, so this typewriter is on a shelf under my art desk. Even though my collection is growing, I could never turn one of these typewriters away. I love each and every one of them!

I hope you enjoyed taking a look at my collection, and thank you to everyone who has given me one of these beautiful antiques. If you know about antiques and have more information about any of these brands/models, I would love to hear from you - leave a comment below!