Old Font

I came across this article on Mashable today, hailing the demise of the typewriter – or, more specifically, one of the last remaining typewriter manufacturers.

Despite my surprise that there are still typewriter manufacturers in existence in 2011, I was a little bit sorry to learn this. About them closing, I mean.

There is something about the old school typewriter that captures my imagination. Like interesting things could be created on one that couldn’t quite come from a computer keyboard. Like maybe pounding those keys puts you in a more passionate frame of mind? Or the slower typing that results gives you time to think more introspectively. Or maybe the workout your fingers get makes you stick to the most meaningful of words.

After reading the article, I was inspired to lug up the old Remington Standard No. 10 my mom got me years ago, as an appropriate writer’s prop. The thing weighs a good 45 lbs, I’d put my money on it.

The last time I had it out was when my son, now almost four, was about 10 months old. The baby pictures were taken then.

Anyway, I did some Googling and learned that the No. 10 was released by Remington between 1908 and 1911. So it’s pretty old.

I don’t have a ribbon for it, but when I obtain one (can you still buy typewriter ribbon??) I’m going to try a little bit of old-fashioned typing and see what I come up with. I’ll definitely keep you posted.

In the meantime, I tried hitting a few of the keys and thought about what a clatter the newsrooms of yesteryear must have been. And I also admired those secretaries that could pump out 60 words a minute. Those keys go down a good centimetre or two before the striker meets paper.

Anyway, there’s a sticker on the paper holder-upper plate thingy (sorry, I don’t know the real name) that has the company name emblazoned across it with a sticker that says, “To save time is to lengthen life.” I smiled to myself, when I read that, and wondered if it wasn’t portentous of its future.

Whether or not its time is past, however, the typewriter will always have a special place in my heart, and my office. If only they could email…

– Words and photos by Lori-Anne Poirier

P.S. We’re linking up with A Beach Cottage again for the Good Life Wednesdays linky party!

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4 Comments

  1. Love this story! I have a Remington Standard 12, made in Toronto circa 1922. It’s still in good condition with a ribbon. I did find a website that sells ribbons, if you’re interested. http://mytypewriter.com/ribbons.aspx

  2. You might be interested in this > http://steampunkworkshop.com/keyboard.shtml
    I am not recommending pulling apart your family heirloom but this is a great way to bring together the experience of using a beautifully crafted piece with the advantages that modern technology brings :o)

  3. YES they sell ribbon! My 8yo got one for Christmas this year, and has been happily pounding away at my mothers old typewriter since. She writes press releases, news papers, and “Articles of Interest”. She had me type some “real invitations, not those computer kinds” the other day, and I was astounded at how much effort it took to write something. Never mind not having a backspace key!

    Loved this piece. There is a great deal of graceful living that our world is leaving behind, and I believe the typewriter is part of it.

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