Typewriter Wars


I love working on a typewriter. This passion began as an experiment, an excuse to visit the public library and use their communal equipment. Now I own a Brother ML-100 electric typewriter, a Royal Safari manual typewriter that I purchased for $15 off of eBay, and a Hermes Rocket manual typewriter that my aunt Mary was good enough to send to me free of charge.

Unfortunately, all is not quiet on the typewriter front. While the manual machines provide me with the most visceral typing pleasure, the Safari has a bent carriage return that causes it to intermittently skip spaces, and the Rocket has a ‘w’ key that sticks. The former problem apparently cannot be repaired. Whether anything can be done about the latter remains to be seen. These are well-engineered, precision pieces of equipment. Each one works remarkably well considering that both are over fifty years old. But the inability to replace worn out parts can render even a minor problem fatal to these beautiful, clattering contraptions.

My friends have mocked me mercilessly for this love affair with an earlier technology, as if the personal computer came along and made every earlier writing tool obsolete. I don’t understand the antagonism. If the goal is writing, it shouldn’t matter how the writing is accomplished. It’s not like I’m one of those vinyl record snobs that refuses to listen to an MP3; I use whatever tool is necessary to get the job done, and sometimes that’s a typewriter.

Writing Relevant Article: The joy of a simpler type of writing, by C.W. Gusewelle. Maybe this will help the nay-sayers understand…

%d bloggers like this: