Personal History

It is hard to believe that less than five months ago, I didn’t even know that the Typoshere existed. Sure, I had a vague idea that somewhere out there, a few people might collect one or two old machines, but that they actually still used them and that there was a community around that usage was completely unknown.

My family has always been late getting into the technology game. Up until 2000, we didn’t own a computer. For most of my childhood, we had an electric typewriter that technically belonged to my grandparents, who where early adopters and had a computer. When I was ten or twelve I spent hours creating “magazines” on it and typing stories. Most of my 4-H projects were typed on it (I don’t remember what it was, other than blue. GE or IBM, maybe?).

I remember when I was about five, I saw a copy of an old ad for an Underwood standard (probably a No. 5, or something earlier) and asking my mom what it was. It didn’t look like plastic model. As soon as the word “typewriter” was out of her mouth, I decided that I wanted one.

That idea went on a shelf for a really long time, party to practicality, funds, and the fact that I live in a matchbox. It wasn’t until I got Henry for Christmas that I thought about revisiting that idea of typewriter collecting I’d had as a child.

I don’t have much of a budget for typewriters or the space to store them. My bedroom is 9×10 and has to contain everything I had in an apartment, with the exception of some furniture and kitchen supplies. Since Christmas I keep looking around for things I can get rid of, but most of my belongings fall into three categories: Clothing, books, and craft supplies. I’m already down to the bare minimum on all three (though I want a Nook for my birthday, which should help with the shelf space).

Neither of these facts has stopped me from trolling Ebay and watching items like this Royal, or this one. I have determined from now on, however, I’m only getting portables. At the moment, I seem to be attracted to Royals (wonder if I’m biased? Nah…). So far I haven’t won anything (probably a good thing). I’m wondering though…what is your limit when bidding in typewriters? Mine is extremely low ($40 including shipping) since I’m broke, cheap, and have to space, but how do you determine the “value” of a typewriter? It makes me wonder when I see listings like this that keep expiring and being relisted at ridiculously high prices, and rejecting offers (originally it was $500; now it’s down to $395. Myself and at least two or three others have made offers, but it’s still there). Maybe I just have expensive taste?

I’m not the only one who seems to be enjoying it, though. Even though the humans in the house are annoyed by the noise, Hermes will lay down near wherever I’m typing and take a nap every time I pull out the KMM. But then, we all know my cat is an odd duck.