I’ve always loved typewriters. When I’d visit my grandmother during the summer, I’d spend half of my time down in her basement tapping away at her old typewriters (the rest of the time was spent watching Grease on a loop). I realize spending all of my time in the basement sounds creepy, but it’s one of those finished basements with an office so I was only kind of weird.
Those times at my grandmother’s house sparked my love of typewriters. There’s something about the physicality of typewriters that evokes the romanticism of writing. Typing away on a laptop doesn’t really have the same gravitas as as striking those typewriter keys. Typewriters are evocative of writers in smokey rooms creating breathtaking works of brilliance. Laptops make you think of that douche in Starbucks who wants everyone to know he’s working on a screenplay.
On June 23, 1868, American inventor Christopher Latham Sholes was granted a patent for the first typewriter which he commercially marketed as the Sholes and Glidden, or the Remington 1. So, in celebration of World Typewriter Day and my own personal fixation on typewriters, I thought I’d share some typewriter porn with you to hopefully inspire you to write your own grandiose novel.
I don’t know about you, but something about this typewriter makes me want to write Valley of the Dolls.
If I’m not mistaken, Royal is the brand of typewriter Annie Wilkes gives Paul Sheldon in Stephen King’s Misery. Of course, that one is missing a couple keys by the end of it, including the E. Not that that is by any means the worst of Paul Sheldon’s problems in that book.
Anyone up for a stint in the steno pool?
One of the older entries on this list, I’m a big fan of this one. I love the simplicity of the design and the open space beneath the keys. However, I could like the latter aspect because I’m terrible at remembering to dust my keyboard.
I’m not sure what it is, but something about the tapping of typewriter keys somehow feels more productive when you’re writing, like the sound is somehow proof that you’re being productive. It makes writing a more visceral experience. I recognize the impracticality of using a typewriter these days–it’d be like using a telegram instead of a cell phone–but I can’t fight the nostalgia as I remember writing short stories on my grandmother’s basement typewriter.
Any other typewriter aficionados out there? Let me know in the comments!