Jen had house guests who wanted to go to antique stores. But, of course, we would join them. For many reasons we did not come to this hobby until late in life. Cost was a big hurdle. Trolling for a bargain is a must. Otherwise, well, you know what happens when you squander a fortune on a bauble. One guest was in quest of duck decoys. Sigh. Everyone to their taste. Me? I shoot typewriters. I’m content. We don’t need one. Bed pans and urinals? Ummm. No thanks. A tiered Christmas pyramid ornament? We have one. Enough. Fun? Priceless! Duck decoy? $25, maybe. $275, (nope!!) ha ha! That would take away from the quest to find a hidden bargain.
A slice and a coke. What’s more American? This is/was my childhood. It has changed. The pizza is much more “craft” than of my high school days. We could get a slice and a coke by the subway for 35 cents. Games? Yeah, who’s looking for a Democrat Republican tic tac toe set? Old typewriters? In my lifetime they are obsolete. Striking mechanical keys? How quaint! Suddenly, things look so old…
We go to antique stores. I pass the time by shooting typewriters. Do I like going to antique stores? Well, yes, it has grown on me (going to antique stores). So I shot typewriters to fend off boredom… well, I did collect one typewriter. It was an Underwood model like the one I typed all my term papers. Yeah, that’s a great memory?! But, anyway, I get three views now – front, top down keyboard, and the keys. So, I have a collection of typewriter shots. This is one set. Aren’t you thrilled? Yeah, yeah, the front view isn’t quite a front view. I am lazy. I don’t rearrange the displays to suit.
They make fun of me. I take pictures, randomly, of everything. There’s no rhyme nor reason. Is it just to take something, anything? Why!?? Film cost $$. A memory card costs $$. But the bang for your buck… is incomparable. So, I shoot, whatever. Lately – for a while – I shoot old typewriters. Now, I shoot in three views – face on, top down, and the keys. Three pictures explain better than my description herein. I have seen many many typewriters. I have the view of them. Why? Dunno, but I do.
What? More. The baby pram? Um? Colleen has admired them. We don’t need one. Right. There are no kids at home. Old Singer sewing machine. Don’t ask. I’ve got too many to count. Don’t laugh. Old typewriter. Ditto. Old writing desk. Curious. Neat. And a harp? That’s something you don’t see often.
Here’s where I made a post and then went to find a picture. On another note (completely unrelated and irrelevant to madder) I have surpassed 468,000 digital images since 2003. The cost savings in digital vs film is staggering. And the volume of images because the cost is low has risen exponentially. The first digital cameras were made by Kodak with a Nikon SLR body and cost about $10,000. Real estate gains in value. Cameras thankfully became less expensive. There is no connection of numbers to yesterday’s madder. I just thought I would randomly marvel at time and progress.
And, who would go out and buy a typewriter? There are kids who have never seen film. By the way, I have a database that allows me to keep track of the images to the extent that it is only mildly painful to lay my hands on an image from years ago.
I shoot typewriters. Funny, does anyone else? You gotta have a plan. I shoot them in two views – looking down on the keyboard and front on at the machine. Now, I have a third view – looking at the keys. I will adjust my angle slightly to get the brand name in the image.
I was surprised to see that a machine had keys for 1, 10, 100, 1000. Neat trick. I did not check to see if the numbers printed out from one key in one stroke. That would require some kind of different key.
Typewriters? I got ‘em. Two. The first was when I dropped David at college. The sucker had to have weighed 25 pounds and I made him ship it home. He was going to trash it – too heavy to ship home. The other was identical to my college Underwood. It and I spent many a night finishing a paper at 3AM. I got that machine. As for the rest, they are generally in poor shape and expensive $$$. Nope, I do not need a paperweight. I still shoot them. It’s a nice collection of images. Now I will shoot 3 images each time.
Roy Rogers school lunch box – it was red as I recall. This isn’t mine. I ate cold lunch in the 8th grade. I missed the hot lunch application deadline. American cheese between two slices of white bread with Miracle Whip. Every day! My choice! Don’t ask. Later on when I was a grown up, I asked the kids in my medical office to go to the corner deli and bring me a sandwich. Eagerly they awaited my request: Ham and Swiss on bread – a slice of white, a slice of rye on top. Then, I’d always sadly shake my head and say they brought the sandwich upside down.
Three turtle wicker basket. I’ve never seen this. Old typewriter? The letters are mounted on wire loops. That’s old. For decoration. The tag says it doesn’t work. Ha! Who’s typing anyway?
Cylinder phonographs – they are still around. I see the cylinders separately. Cool. I admire them. I’m not in the market. We’re full up. No room. Ha. Old typewriter? This one is about as old as I’ve come across. I don’t see many of these. Rare! We hang out in antique stores. The advantage over a museum is that you are allowed touch things. They usually admonish you not to sit in the chairs. Otherwise, I get to touch and feel lots of neat old stuff.
The really old one does not have a “QWERTY” keyboard. And it’s missing a key? I never would have looked…but (OCD) – “H” – it’s replaced by ‘tel.’ Oh well, go figure. They must have lost one. If I had to drop a letter it would be “Q.” Oh no! Not “Q.” I’m not saying I would. But if you had to lose a letter… I’m not implying that I have lost it…
I go to antique stores. It’s loosely defined as something older than 100 years. Cars don’t often live to one hundred and printed materials are frequently centuries old. I did a typewriter series a little bit ago. Typewriters date back to last century. How quaint! My connection to typewriters is with term papers I typed in the middle of the night. Mistakes were not tolerated (OCD me). Correct tape and erasers were frowned upon. Ah, well, it was an old Underwood for me. You may have used another. There’s a really old one pictured. The label said, “Don’t touch. This is a $500 typewriter.” Ha! Well, I moved the tag. What’s the point? No one uses film cameras any more either. I saw an Argus C3 “brick” for $45 and it’s junk on eBay for $6. You can dream. A treasure is worth what someone else is willing to pay. Anyone want a $500 typewriter?
I don’t own these… We do antique stores. Marching around and peeking in the booths… well you see my point?
I have a couple of old typewriters. It’s sentimental. I got the first when I dropped Dave off in Wisconsin for his freshman year of college. The Goodwill has really great stuff. Ha! Old typewriters! It sat in his dorm room all year and he paid a fortune to have it shipped home to me. The second was an impulse purchase. It is the exact model Underwood I slaved over to complete my term papers. Correct type and erasers, oh my! Old typewriters are not so old. They have been around for a while and of course of no more since the computer age. Tra la! La!
You hang out in antique and junk stores and things jump out and bite you. This is a typewriter. It is not any typewriter. And for the tech savvy it is not anything you might have ever used. But this model, this exact model was the same one I used as a kid. My college papers were typed out on this. No mistakes, double space, erase once or twice, occasional whiteout, but more than one mistake and start over…. I took typing lessons as a kid in junior high. I took the class during the summer at the local college – Davis and Elkins. I never typed fast. But I did learn – The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. And only in the past year or so have I learned to text and so thereby type fast and now I can text with my thumb and forefinger. Oh the wonderful things I have learned. But right here, right in this very picture is the typewriter model that started it all for me. It works, it has a ribbon, the keys are all punching up letters and numbers. It’s clunky and the keys stick. Oh the memories, and the horrors. Late night paper due and one mistake and you start the paper over. I went to science and medicine just to avoid having to type out English reports. Yeah, there are a lot of memories tied up in this image. So… I bought the damn thing. Heaven knows someone someday will have to trash this thing. But for now I can run my fingers over the keys and gloat that I will never use whiteout or erase another mistake. Hit the “Delete” key. Yes, “Delete.”