Sunday, September 15, 2013

Facing the Typewriter Problem

Don't think it can't happen to you. It'll begin in the company of a few friends. You've already had a couple, what would one more hurt. But you keep wanting more, and eventually realize as you stumble around the clutter that the habit is taking over your household and affecting your life. Your wife tearfully confronts you when she finds you have even squirreled some away in her side of the closet. You thought it could never happen to you, that you were in complete control and could stop any time. But one day you find yourself facing your friends with the statement:

Hello, my name is Tony Mindling and I'm a typoholic.


For clinical evaluation, the following documentation collected during the past few weeks is herewith provided. Not included are the Smith Corona Quiet Super from the local Salvation Army thrift store, and the Royalite, AKA "Kermit", from Mike Clemens. Of course, many of these are destined for grandchildren, some of whom have already expressed interest. Of course, one little problem with that justification for my typewriter problem is that I don't see our seven children, prolific as they are, producing 43 children. So I suppose I will just have to give in, and, as one notable Typeospherian suggests, embrace hoarding. One positive thing is that all of the typewriters below, at least all that have thus far been received, have functioned well right out of the box. Well, OK, the Harris needs a new drawstring. Oh, and that pretty blue Corona Coronet arrived in pieces that all the kings men ... but the seller provided a complete refund and parts have already been shared all the way to Australia. They did arrive, didn't they McTaggart?


  1. Hi, Tony!!! That is a fair few typewriters you have there, sir. My collection has risen to 17 (I think!) and I've found myself lately wanting to hold onto the typewriters that I actually enjoy using. In saying that, however, there are about four of them that I plan to hold onto because they are representative of design from their eras, and my Olivetti Lettera 32 was my high school typewriter, so that's staying. But it seems to me that, if a typewriter doesn't work as good as it should, then I'm all for moving it along to somebody who will enjoy it as it is. There are still a couple more machines I'd like to get, but I think I'll have to consider them carefully before I buy them. If I do.
    As with any other form of collecting, typewriters can be as slippery a slope as anything else.

  2. Don't worry. You're in good company. It has got to the point where I need to start a database to keep track of what I actually have... And I too have machines hidden in wardrobes.

    You're not alone, brother! You're not alone.

  3. I am still in denial. Although I now have 9 machines at home, and haven't used 3 of them yet. And now received 2 more machines, from which I know I do not want them, but also cannot get rid of them for some magical reason.

    Good luck with your de-hoarding!

  4. It's good to see I'm not alone in this ordeal... right now I finally taken the first, painful step and put three ads for as many Olivetti portables for sale online. But man, was it hard! XD

    ... of course, they still have to be sold, but hey, one step at a time...

  5. If you end up taking that last step (not sure if it's a decision or just fate) don't worry. You'll find all sorts of ways to justify purchases. XD Sometimes you even decide to sell a few of your typewriters and use the proceeds to buy something extra-special. Reduce clutter and increase satisfaction in one move!

  6. This affliction can be beaten! I once had 17 machines and I now have 14. I sold 3 and found solace in alcohol while I came to terms with my loss

  7. Hi Tony, I use to buy two machines a month and now one every month. I just love typewriters! So I live in a Studio apartment (it use to be three rooms but it was turn into one great room). Anyway my collection has 137 typewriters.
    Thank God for the five Ecostorage wire shelving rack w/wheels and I have room for five more! Here are some of them.
    I worry sometimes about having so many of them but for now I just enjoy all my babies.

    1. I'm with you, Jose. And what's not to enjoy - lovely things, intriguing precision mechanics, fun to tinker with and bring a fine vintage piece back to life, oh, and you can write with them as well. And not to forget the fun of sharing and commiserating with fellow typospherians.

      Nice photos, by the way, of an interesting collection. I see you have no fear of acquiring standards - Mr. Whitlock said they make the best typers.

  8. Just saw your comment on my 1620 on the Typewriter Database. I've got a blog post detailing what to do with a frozen carriage. If you have any extra questions email me at schreibstang (at) gmail (dot) com

  9. Permission to come aboard! :) Seems there'll be enough hands to take TypoHoardia frigate out to sea...