With their glass keys, nostalgic aura, and charming literary output, vintage typewriters are becoming increasingly popular. Once relegated to the side amidst word processors and laptops, these writing machines are now considered an up-and-coming collectible. In a digital world where manuscripts, poems, and musings can accidentally disappear into a software abyss, more people are turning to the trusted touch of a vintage typewriter.
The Charm of Real Type
Unlike some collectibles like figurines or sports cards, a typewriter can create works of original art. With a vintage typewriter at your side, you can pen love notes, poetry, essays, and even that Pulitzer Prize-worthy manuscript. Of course, you could always type on a plastic computer keyboard, but the glass keys of a real writing machine are inspirational, causing you to contemplate each word and letter you strike.
Even if you are not an aspiring writer, the possibilities of your antique typewriter are endless! Imagine the sweet surprise of receiving a real, hand-typed thank you note. How nostalgic would your spice drawer look with hand-typed labels? Artists have even created stunning works of typewriter art depicting famous individuals and even landscapes.
Antique typewriters have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity, especially as todays society pines for nostalgia of bygone eras. Subsequently, a writing machine you purchase today will most likely grow in value, giving you a smart investment for decades to come.
Of course, not all typewriter models were created equal, and some are significantly more valuable than others. The rarity of the model, the year it was manufactured, its color, and condition all impact the current and long-term value of the piece.
A Nostalgic, Personal Connection
Maybe the antique typewriter at the antique shop reminds you of your mother. Perhaps you grew up idolizing Nancy Drew and hoping to type a novel. Or maybe you used the typewriter to communicate with a pen pal whom you met years later. Many antiques have a personal connection, making the item that much more nostalgic.
Thinking Outside the Typewriter Case
Although it is always ideal to purchase an antique typewriter that is in fully working condition, some writing machines have simply been neglected and may be impossible to revive. However, this does not mean that the vintage typewriter should be relegated to the recycling bin! There are many ways in which you can enjoy a typewriter, both working and non-functional.
Vintage typewriters may be used to display items like photos.
The writing machines can be used as charming bookends.
If it is absolutely impossible to repair the typewriter, craftspeople may be interested in the keys from antique typewriters to create vintage crafts, such as necklaces, cuff links, earrings, and place cards. However, sawing the keys off a functional typewriter or one that could be repaired should certainly be considered a sin!
A Living History Lesson
Vintage typewriters are their own lesson in the history of the written word. Typewriters were invented in the late 1800s, although the concept existed a century earlier. Typewriters added speed to what had been a much more laborious process. Typewriters soon became integral parts of offices and remained so until the 1980s, when computers became more prevalent. The legacy of typewriters lingers today, for instance:
Our computer keyboards still use the “QWERTY” letter line-up.
We still use the phrase “cc,” short for “carbon copy.”
Terms like “Shift” and “Backspace” also came from the typewriter.
Indeed, there are many reasons to purchase and enjoy a vintage typewriter. From the click-clack of the striking keys to the charming bell at the end of each line, the right writing machine is waiting for your fingers to type with inspiration!