Just My Type

“A typewriter has quite as much individuality as a man’s handwriting.” – Sherlock Holmes

Yes, I did it. I bought a vintage typewriter. Seriously I must be living in the past – I love bookbinding, handwritten letters, fountain pens and now typewriters. I recently shared that we watched the documentary “California Typewriter” and I had definitely been toying with the idea of getting a typewriter and then for Christmas my husband got me a couple of books on typewriters and I thought, that’s it. I’m getting one.

Of course I had a typewriter back in the late 80s but it was an Brother electric typewriter. I think I eventually gave that to one of my cousins at some point. Anyway over the holidays I spent hours looking for the right one. I knew what I wanted and I found it on Etsy.

Please meet my Olympia SM3 from 1956. It’s in great working condition and I’ve been having a blast playing with it. Granted, I think I didn’t realize how tiring it is to write on one. I type around 75 wpm but a manual typewriter takes a lot more energy to strike those keys.

For a bit of trivia, the Olympia typewriters were originally made in Berlin, Germany in 1903. The SM3 model has been favored by writers including Woody Allen, Don DeLillo, Robert Penn Warren, John Updike and Patricia Highsmith.

I’ll have to take a better picture of it later but right now my studio is a mess. As usual books and papers everywhere.

If you are curious about typewriters and would like to learn more I highly recommend watching the film. If you want some books to read on the history and see examples of different typewriters you can’t go wrong with The Typewriter Revolution or Typewriter. For a great read about how a typewriter in a bookstore led to building a community, check out Notes from a Public Typewriter.

Let me know if you’ve used a typewriter before and do you remember what kind it was? Would you ever use it again?

  1. January 18, 2021
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