Typewriter Man


Sapling & Sons, Beaver, Pa.
This place is gonna be clickin’ and clackin’ this weekend! Come on down!

So I went on my first typewriter house call the other day. Funny. Never thought I’d hear myself saying that.

It’s a good thing I’m already married.

It was actually a favor for my friend, Lisa, who’s holding an event this weekend at her awesome “Snail Mail Supply Co.”, Sapling & Sons, located right on the charming main street of Beaver.

Called “Love On The Run”, the free event invites guests to stop in on Friday and Saturday and type a love note to their sweetheart on one of various antique manual typewriters. The notes will then be rolled up and put into glass bottles and hand delivered to your Valentine (no relation) free of charge on February 14. How cool is that? They’ve even got a few of my typewriters on display in the window. (All of which are for sale, in case you’re interested.)

(I didn’t think so.)

So, of course, just to make sure their typewriters were all in working order for this special event, they called upon yours truly, since I’m probably the only person around who collects typewriters and actually still uses them on a daily basis. Seriously. And I’m not even a hipster.

Ever since that newfangled doodad known as the “personal computer” came out, it’s become harder and harder to find anyone who knows anything at all about these dinosaurs of the writing world. That said, I wouldn’t exactly call myself a typewriter expert, despite how cool that would sound. Most of what I know about typewriter upkeep actually came through just tinkering around with my own collection. I caught on pretty quick, too. It only took me a few days to figure out how to replace a ribbon the first time.

I’ve also learned a lot from Richard Polt, author of the forthcoming book, The Typewriter Revolution: A Typist’s Companion for the 21st Century, and whom I harass on a weekly basis with questions like, “Where do you locate the serial number on a Smith-Corona Galaxie 12?” (A: It’s stamped into a vertical metal panel near one of the ribbon cups), or “How do you replace the pull strap on a circa 1920s Royal 10?” (A: Use an old shoelace)

One of the machines on which I worked my magic, i.e., I got the "E" key to stop sticking.
One of the machines on which I worked my magic, i.e., I got the “E” key to stop sticking.

Again, it’s a miracle I’m not single.

Basically, all Sapling & Sons needed me to do was adjust the margins on a couple of their machines and make sure they were in good typing order for their event. I barely got my hands inky. For some reason, the whole time I was there I kept picturing myself as that toy-repair guy in “Toy Story II” — you know, the crusty old man who made a house call to Al’s Toy Barn to sew Andy’s arm back on and get him looking good as new?

Did I mention how lucky I am to be married?

Will typewriter repair become a new career for me? What am I saying?! I don’t even have a career.

Anyway, I seriously doubt there is much of a market for someone with a basic knowledge of typewriter maintenance. For now I’ll just stick with what I do best.

Whatever that may be. ~

Copyright © 2015 Valentine J. Brkich

3 Responses to "Typewriter Man"
  1. Excellent news, and a rather posh claim (“since I’m probably the only person around who collects typewriters and actually still uses them on a daily basis” ) – good you didn’t drop the “probably”, given all us typospherians around. looking forward to your next post.

    • Thanks for your comment! As for my claim, worldwide I am well aware of the enormity of the Typhosphere. But I’m pretty sure I’m one of a kind in my little neck of the woods. Thanks for reading. ; )

  2. I’m glad you are not alone collecting and using typewriters. Congratulations on your repairs. It would be a good career choice if you have Typosphereians in your area or typing/typewriter enthusiasts in the area. Look how busy Tom Furrier, Bill Wahl, and the few others that repair typewriters are.

    Richard P is one very knowledgeable and helpful fellow.