Tuesday, September 13, 2011

COMMENTARY: Everything old is new again

And how.

I just got an advert for a company that is selling reconditioned vintage manual and electric typewriters. They give the typewriters a new sporty coat of paint often two-tuned in hot shades of red and purple and they make sure the works are operating to spec. For this, consumers are paying $500 and up.

And that's a "sale" price. By the time I saw the ad, most of the machines were on hold or sold, too.

Surely these folks are using the typewriters as an art piece. I, for one, don't miss the "typewronger." Yeah, I used to get a lot of laughs out of the new language I'd created in typographical errors.

I even miss my Royal title, The Typo Queen. But Her Majesty has abdicated the kingdom and all it's carbon-ink based dark glory.

Retyping doesn't build character, it only adds to an RSI. There's just no good way of correcting those errors. Remember Liquid Paper? Ever spill any on the machine? Erasers weren't any better. You manage to erase the error without tearing a hole in the paper, you were lucky.

Oh yes, I know, there were correcting ribbons. Sometimes they worked, sometimes they didn't. And if you didn't catch the error until the document was rolled out of the typewriter, you were screwed.

Let us not forget the typewriter ribbon. The Kasbah Mod doesn't mention how you acquire the ribbons for those typewriters they're selling. I can tell you even in the nineties finding replacement ribbons for the Smith Corona I had that was still being made was difficult if not impossible and these models are older.

I didn't like typing until I got a word processor and even then, it was only in the mid-nineties when those babies began to truly sing. Not so much now. I think they've re-built MacWord on the old platform even more than these typewriter modifications. But I'll still take my Mac, thanks.

Even if I do kind of miss that Liquid Paper high....


  1. That is a beautiful silver typewriter. I can see the retro appeal. I don't miss the manual typewriter too much, though I'm sure we burned more calories pounding those old keys!

  2. I would love to have an old typewriter as decor. But I won't pay $500 for it.

    I do not miss typing on a typewriter either. I remember when one of my college friends got a word processor. I BEGGED him to use it. lol.

    I should show my kids a picture of a typewriter and ask them if they know what it is.