Monday, May 23, 2011

23 May 1957 “The Typewriter”

typewriterad The glorious typewriter. It has been around for some time, by 1957, but was an integral part of the mid-century lifestyle. Offices, schools, students and yes, Homemakers, were often happy to have the helpful tool.
Today, with computers, cell phones/texting, and of course the i-Pad type devices, typewriters might seem to be even further an anachronism. This, I am happy to say, seems to not be entirely true.

hubbytypewriter My hubby has enjoyed using typewrites for some time. He collects vintage models and faithfully uses them. Though he of course has a computer or two, he does much of his writing first on the typewriter. I have to admit to a love of the sound, especially mixed with the wonderful aromatic scent of his pipe tobacco, as a great ‘Homey’ experience.

We were happy to see that many young people are beginning to discover and enjoy the longevity and physical pleasure a typewriter can bring. Unlike old computers, they tend to not fill up landfills and are easily enough repaired.

We are lucky, here in MA in Cambridge, to have a great typewriter repair shop. He has a wonderful blog in which he has been documenting the increased use and desire the typewriter has been bringing of late. Perhaps the failing economy and the uncertain times have made one long for a sold steel machine that may have been used by our grandfathers to feel grounded in the modern world. Who knows why, but they are a wonderful tool and look great too.

Here is the great blog of the Boston Typewriter repair and sales shop. Here is the Site and here is the BLOG.
I am sure many of you, who are old enough, have wonderful typewriter memories. Or perhaps horrid ones, as well. Speak up, as I want to hear them!
Happy Homemaking.


  1. I learned to type in high school on those old manual typewriters. You really had to build up wrist and finger strength to be able to type fast and well. You paid more attention to accuracy, because it was a pain to erase (white-out hadn't been invented yet).

    Then I got a job in an office in Germany, and we had those state of the art electric typewriters with the ball. Those were great. Still a pain to erase mistakes. White-out had been invented by then, but it was considered low class and tacky for nice offices to use it. It was still the eraser, used very lightly and carefully, carbon copies erased, too. If you did it well, you couldn't tell. You had to make sure the type was perfectly lined up, too. Each letter was a work of art.

    Now, I type lazily and hurriedly, because I can always back up the computer and type it over.

    Letters from companies are very impersonal now. Back when I was working in Germany, form letters were not allowed, because it was considered tacky and impersonal. The company I worked for was America's USAA (United Services Automobile Association) that insured American military officers (now they insure more than just the officers) who were stationed overseas, and we hd a lot of American military wives working in the office, as well as Germans and other Europeans who spoke English.

    A nice company to work for; a nice place to work. I started when I was 17 and a newlywed there in Germany!

  2. I think the planned obsolescence of today is terrible. Have you read Future Shock by Alvin Toffler? It is about how manufacturers plan obsolescence to make more money. Those old classic typewriters will always work and they were easy to fix. Maybe someday we will be using them again.

    Oh, read a cool 50's book "Alas Babylon" by Pat Frank. It has a cult following. You can google it. Buy it used for cheap. About what happens in America when "the bomb" goes off (it is a fiction book). People once again start to use libraries and old fashioned stuff like that when their world goes "back in time" due to the bomb destroying so much. A fun read.

  3. I did it! I read through all of your blog posts, starting at the very beginning! I feel as though I know you very well now. I hope that's not too creepy and stalker-ish. I admire you very much and think very highly of all of your accomplishments over the past 2 1/2 years. You are an inspiration, as I'm sure you know!

    Just so it's not all one-sided, here's a little bit about me - I'm a 33yo librarian in Ohio. I am happily married to a wonderful man and love my job! No kids, but we live in a big shabby old house with a huge garden, a bunch of dogs, several thousand books and a vintage tube amp that is my husband's pride and joy.

    My grandmothers were both homemakers. One still is, and also ran a 4-H club where she taught sewing for many years. I know how to cook, knit, sew, bake, garden, etc etc - unfortunately I don't have time to do any of it as much as I would like, and I'm getting a bit rusty with the sewing! Inspired by the beautiful outfits you create, I'm starting a dress. It isn't a vintage pattern, but it's simple and I'm using a sheet for fabric - so much cheaper ($3 at Goodwill), and it should be light and pretty for summer.

    I'm very excited about it, but of course it has to be put on hold so that I can plant my garden this week, and bake pies (German Chocolate and Dutch Apple - I live in Amish country, don'tcha know!) for my FIL's retirement party this weekend.

    Anyway, so pretend we just had a little chat over coffee - I'm the new gal in your neighborhood I guess! Thanks for all the sharing you do - it's really lovely.

    Call me Daisy Lew!

  4. I have a vintage typewriter at home, I think I've mentioned it before in an e-mail. It is a portable (foldable) travel model, and it is said that Hans Christian Andersen wrote his famous fairy tales on one like it, but perhaps it is also just a tale. It decorates my living room, and functions perfectly - thanks to my dad who has repaired it for many years. It was his typewriter, but since I loved it so much and wrote all my school work on it, he gave it to me as a gift. I love vintage typewriters too and would love to own more, but they take a lot of space and DH doesn't agree with me. Where does your hubby get the coloured tape from? It is hard to find in Denmark.

  5. Mary-I will have to check that book out, it sounds fun. I always think, what if...

    Sanne-hubby has bought them on ebay sometimes you can find them locally and this place online sells them but not sure if they ship to europe here is the link

  6. Daisy Lew-Thank you so much, I am very honored. And no I don't think you are being a stalker. I love to hear comments on my writing. And whenever anyone has told me that they have read my adventure through from the beginning I am always honored and thankful.
    I have written about my experience with sincerity and heartfelt feeling. I have been amazed and continue to be amazed at how much my life has changed and for the better. I continue to learn and be happy in my dwelling betwixt the past and the present.
    We are happy to have you here in our little online community of homeloving home-centric people.
    Welcome Daisy Lew!


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