Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Lunch with an old typewriter


I’m not sure how it happened, but somehow Carrie ended up with two old typewriters from her Papa Rod (my stepdad), and his entire super cool old camera collection. I’m just a little jealous! Anyway, with her recent craft room cleanout, she decided that she didn’t have room for both typewriters so she begrudgingly allowed me to keep one at my house.

It’s such a cute little typewriter, an old toy made in the 1950’s (I think) and like all of Rod’s old toys, it’s in fantastic condition.

The ribbon was really faded and I wanted to be able to use this little typewriter from time to time, so on a lunch hour last week I took it over to a local typewriter repair shop to see about having the ribbon replaced.


It was so much fun taking Rod's Carrie's my typewriter into the repair shop and seeing the look of excitement on the shop owner’s face. It was also really cool to hear him say that he’d only ever had one in his shop before – a red one that was pretty beat up. He went on and on about the great condition my little blue typewriter was in, and while he was tinkering around with replacing the ribbon, I got up the nerve to ask if I could take a few photos to share on my blog.


He graciously agreed, and we chatted about the typewriter business as I happily snapped photos around his shop. I asked how he got started in the typewriter business and he told me that his grandfather had started it, at that location, over 40 years ago.


I asked him other important questions like "Do you ever take the letter keys off the machines to sell to artists?" He told me that some typewriter enthusiasts really frown on removing the letter keys, but he’s done it on occasion, only if the machine itself was beyond repair.


He was able to take a full-sized typewriter ribbon and cut it down to size for my little toy machine, then he re-wound the cut ribbon around the spool, popped it in and struck some keys to test it out. Tap-tap-tap... Perfect!

 
At the end of my visit I paid $9 and he carried my typewriter out to the car for me. I thanked him and told him how much I enjoyed spending my lunch hour in his shop. I’m pretty sure he enjoyed it too. He got to see a cool old toy, and had a customer really appreciate his business and the awesome collection of typewriters there.


The repair shop is located in downtown Mesa, Arizona ~ “Mesa Typewriter Exchange” near the intersection of Main and MacDonald. If you have a need for repair, are looking to purchase an old typewriter, or just like to look at cool old machines, I highly recommend a trip to downtown Mesa.

It's like a typewriter museum!

19 comments:

helena said...

I do miss the sound of a typewriter but I remember the aches in my fingers as they built up strength to strike the keys for an even page when I first learnt to type - what a lovely shop

Susi said...

Cool little shop. Love that cute little typewriter that is now yours. Oh how I wish I would have held onto a few of my old ones.

Sian said...

Wow..I don't think we have a typewriter shop in the whole country here! We went looking when I needed a ribbon for my dad's and I ended up buying one on the internet. Thanks for the photos..I really did enjoy seeing them

Cheri said...

It is so funny that you should be posting about old typewriters - I've actually spent the last two days on ebay and etsy looking at them. Vintage SMC Coronamatics (electric) which is what I had in college and now totally regret getting rid of - gave it Good Will at least 25 years ago - when all my typing was being done on a computer. But the old manuals are so much cooler looking (and way more expensive). Some day...

Jo said...

Wow that looks like an amazing place. I wish I knew what had happened to my old typewriter because I would love to have it now x

alexa said...

Oh my, this is nine dollars worth of heaven! So thrilled your typewriter will be giving you pleasure as it clearly gave to him. Love those photos!

Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita said...

i love old typewriters, and your great visit to that shop!

debs14 said...

What an amazing shop! I've never seen anywhere like that in England. I'm so happy that places like that are still in business - and also happy that he managed to mend Rod's/Carrie's/your typewriter!

scrappyjacky said...

Wow...it looks wonderful,Deb....just like a museum....it's so rare to see a typewriter over here nowdays.

tainted with a positive view said...

Very cool! When I graduated from HS, my parents gave me an electric Smith Corona - wish I had that today!

cate behind the purple door said...

It must be typewriter season, I picked up an old brother royal on eBay yesterday, just needs a careful clean and new ribbon and it's good to go!

I don't think there's any typewriter shops around here, but your photos look awesome! It must have been so much fun walking around, especially if you recognised any you used years ago!

Karen said...

Fabulous photos, and a great story! I wonder if there's any place like that in this area. I have a "new" old typewriter that could use some love.

Becky said...

Penny picked up a typewriter off EBay recently and of course I had to have a play! Never seen any shops like that around here - thanks for sharing your shop, such wonderful photos. So glad you got your typewriter working again :-)

Becky said...

Penny picked up a typewriter off EBay recently and of course I had to have a play! Never seen any shops like that around here - thanks for sharing your shop, such wonderful photos. So glad you got your typewriter working again :-)

Margaret said...

What a great post. I'm impressed he can stay in business these days, and I'm impressed he could replace your ribbon.

Amy said...

And I am so impressed that he carried your typewriter to the car for you ... we had to have an amplifier repaired recently and the repair man did the same for me - he was so polite and offered such quick and thorough service, such a pleasure.

Feeling better yet?

Miriam said...

Oh how I would love a typewriter, I saw one in a shop a while ago but it was so huge I couldn't imagine where I would put it. Your photos of the shop are fabulous.

Carrie Rosalind said...

Cool pictures - I'd like to visit this shop someday.

By the way - that is the only typewriter I got from Papa Rod. The other was a Goodwill find.

Gail said...

Oh what a neat shop. I don't know of any typewriter repair places around our area. Those pictures brought back lots of memories.

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