Sunday, February 26, 2012

My typewriter obsession.

Smith - Corona Sterling
My father used to have an old Underwood typewriter. I loved the sound it made when he'd type up school assignments, letters, and well ...I'm not really sure what he was actually working on. It didn't really matter. I just loved the way he'd sit up straight, pencil tucked safely behind his ear, hands and fingers perched just so above the keys ready to pounce upon the seemingly randomly placed letters, the numbers arranged obediently above. And then the clickety-clickety-clack would begin. His thoughts appearing upon a clean white page. And it was good.

I wondered at how he could type so quickly without ever looking at the keys. The occasional thumping of his fist on the desktop punctuated with, "damn!" occurring only every now and then when he'd make a mistake. And the ding. The ding! That gloriously simple note signally the moment when the carriage needed to be returned and a new line of text could begin.

Smith - Corona Super Correct
By the time I was in high school the mechanical typewriter had been updated. It now came with a power cord and boasted a multicolored ribbon, self-correction, automatic return, and tabs. A year-long class was devoted to the art of operation. "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country."

I love a great typewriter. To me, they're worth saving. When I found these in various junk stores and thrift stores I had to rescue and restore them. I couldn't bear to have them broken up for jewelry parts when there are still more thoughts to be written, notes to be sharred. "Damn! where's the correction fluid?"

Smith - Corona Classic 10
Smith - Corona Galaxy Twelve
Underwood Portable Manual with Glass Keys

Underwood  Portable Manual
Royal Academy Electric

Underwood Manual Training Typewriter (the keys are blank!)

All photos by Paulette Rodriguez


  1. What a great way to bring back memories. My grandmother was the admissions clerk at Ball Memorial Hospital. I loved to go to work with her and watch her hands fly over the keyboard.

  2. Hey Paulette! I was wondering if you would consider parting with one of these typewriters? :)

    Tommy R. Thomas


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