Letter-Perfect Collections: Typewriters
Pic: Crandall (1884), the first typewriter to print from a single element, long before IBM’s “golf ball” lettering device
“Collecting antique typewriters has been a wonderful experience for me over the years. It all began in 1989, when I spotted an intriguing item high upon a shelf in a cluttered junk shop-which turned out to be a Caligraph typewriter from the early 1880s. When I read up on the subject and learned that literally hundreds of distinct typewriters were manufactured in the early days of typing, I was hooked. I also love to restore these finely built machines. It takes a lot of patience, but the pleasure of exploring and refurbishing the mechanisms of a 100-year-old typewriter, and the end result-a beautiful, smoothly operating artifact-is worth it.
From July 2007 to January 2008, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada put 25 my machines from my collection on display in an exhibit called “Early Typewriters-Gateway to the Information Age.” As the popularity of the exhibit demonstrated, typewriters hold a special nostalgia for many of us. They create an immediate connection to the past, and you can’t help but marvel at how this tool has impacted all of our lives.”
-by Martin Howard
Featured in More of Our Canada, July 2009