this blog serves as a journal for my typewriters craze and a sharing platform for like-minded people.
I have been in a few… hmm, make it MANY crazes (almost like obsession phases!) in the last few years. I have been so into gardening, buying orchid plants at first sight, baking everyday till kids protest and refused to eat just one more muffin, buying all things hello kitty, waking up in the wee morning to prepare bento (read my bento blog here), the list goes on and on..
THEN i was hit by the vintage bug BIG time (caught it from my partner-in-grime, Judy!), it went full blown to collecting footed glasses, vintage thermos, teacups. i searched for them everywhere and anywhere! I agreed when Judy said I am a very extreme collector. My interest in searching for them has pinnacled and somewhat weaned a little now as I enter into another craze right now– vintage manual typewriters!!
I am so smitten with these manual typewriters. So much so I spent precious late hours to learn and practise touch typing all over again. I want to enjoy the tap, tap… ding the typewriters the right way, and effortlessly. Typing needs more strength on typewriters than the computer keyboard. I justified that I just need 1, then 2, then 3 typewriters, then 4, 5,… 10, to type labels, ang pows for weddings, filling forms, and writing letters to friends and family.
I imagined that my dad would be surprised and touched when he receives letters from me who hardly visit and call (he is in another country). I foresee my sister would enjoy reading my letters to her in ten-twenty years time down the road. (although we facebook messaged each other frequently but I suppose it is not the same).
I thought how cool it would be to bring along a typewriter and type my thoughts away without the need of worrying battery life of my ipad/laptop and not distracted by my constant need to check email, fb status and messages. Bring a laptap (typewriter) instead of a laptop to a family picnic (type while the kids build their sandcastles), a short vacation, or ‘yum cha’ with hubby (hubby said he will sit at another table, far from me! ) and …ok, I am getting carried away…
A few good things came out of this ‘obsession’. My nine-year old asked for a typewriter. She is using it to type her journal! Both my kids are also practising touch typing with me in some evenings. It’s heartwarming to think that they will remember these experiences later in life and pass on this story to their kids, and perhaps they will sometime send a typewritten letter to me too. I don’t think vintage ipads will work then. It’s sad to note that typewriter has never been seen and used by some of the younger generation! I’ve also made new friends who shared the same love in typewriters.
What is so good about a typewriter? It is completely autonomous, anyone can use it without having to know anything about menus and settings and preferences, and without needing any kind of experience or knowledge of specific programs, though learning touch typing will be beneficial to typing speed and minimize errors. It is a machine in the true sense of the word… a MECHANICAL device requiring certain effort or input on the part of the operator, in order to perform its function. (I copied and pasted some parts of this para from somewhere. I should have made a note and give credit).
This blog is still a work-in-progress (typecast, serial nos. better photos), so come visit again soon.
I would like to hear from you too, drop me a line or two!
November 1st, 2012 at 8:02 pm
Thanks for your posts…especially the one on turning the Olivetti Lettera 35 from (old) to pink!!
My sister is a writer, award winning blogger (Delectabelle), and marketing director. I’ve been looking for a great typewriter for her for a couple of years now – but I wanted one I could take apart and re-work myself so that it made for an extra awesome gift.
A friend found a BRAND NEW, never used Olivetti Lettera 35 at an estate sale. Knowing I was looking for something like that, he picked it up for me…for $15.00. Yes, fifteen!!
This is where you (and other typewriter lovers) might be a little upset with me: I wasn’t about to give my sister have a plain, old, drab gray typewriter.
Since it is in MINT condition, I took it apart carefully and am in the process of re-coloring it Plum, Green Apple, and Lemon Zest. (I have a fine art degree…I LOVE color the way she loves writing.)
I’ll send pictures of the final product along later if you like. So far, it’s perfect!!
December 31st, 2012 at 3:19 pm
just saw your message. YES please! 🙂
January 4th, 2013 at 2:57 am
It came out SSOOO great!! I’ll send you a picture if you tell me where to send it (or, how to post it here…doesn’t look like I can do that?).
January 6th, 2013 at 11:58 pm
Hello Brian, can paste your link here? Else email firstname.lastname@example.org. Can’t wait for the reveal! Excited! 🙂
January 27th, 2013 at 7:05 am
Would like to know if there are any shops that are willing to buy old type writers? I have one (not sure if it’s in working condition) and I would like to sell it off. Thanks in advance! (:
July 27th, 2013 at 4:17 am
Hello Karen, do you know where can I buy old typewriter in singapore? thank you
September 10th, 2013 at 12:58 pm
hi refine, you can try flea markets, online classifieds and vintage shops.
August 23rd, 2013 at 10:55 am
Hello Karen! I was searching on the internet about typewriters in Singapore and I chanced upon your blog! I write leisurely and typewriters have always fascinated me. Some are sooo beautiful! I’ve been thinking of getting a typewriter to begin my typewriting journey but I’m so clueless! So I was wondering if you had any advice for me. I like the cursive/script typeface more and black keypads. Preferably a not so bulky one. Do you have any models to recommend? 🙂 Also, you mention that sometimes you chance upon typewriters here in Singapore. Where do you find them?
September 10th, 2013 at 1:06 pm
hi cherry. welcome to the club. my personal preference is the adler tippa 1. it is compact and has the loveliest cursive typeface. it comes with a click on lid and very portable too. you can try getting typers at vintage shops here or check online classifieds. good luck!
August 30th, 2013 at 4:58 am
Hi Karen, I’m a budding collector for vintage items, currently i’m looking out for places where i can get my hands on a mint condition typewriter, especially Olivetti Lettera series. Pls help! Thanks!
September 10th, 2013 at 1:00 pm
hi jan, most manual typewriters ive came across are used. a mint one will probably command a premium price tag.
October 23rd, 2013 at 7:27 pm
My name is Yap Ning. I am a uni student at the Singapore Institute of Technology studying Communication Design, and I’m currently doing my final year project. My project is about non-digital/analog devices, and the rising trend of using such devices. One example is the typewriter, which is how I came across your blog.
Would it be possible for me to do a short face-to-face interview with you? Basically it’s to find out more about your interest in typewriters, and to gather research about the topic from a first-person point-of-view.
Do let me know if it’s possible. If you have questions, feel free to contact me at email@example.com. Looking forward to your reply, thank you!
December 29th, 2013 at 2:04 am
Hi, I read your post in a comment regarding a typewriter repair shop in Singapore. Would you mind directing me to it? I love manual typewriters, and I’ve got one that I would like to get it serviced! Thanks!
December 31st, 2013 at 5:05 pm
Hi. Sorry for the terribly late reply. Here’s the add –
1 Rochor Road, #02-598
Tel: 62986133, 62946133
Fax: 62926133, 62956133
Operating hours:9.00am to 5.00pm (Mon -Fri)
9.00am to 1.00pm (Sat)
January 26th, 2014 at 4:40 pm
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