I have been a collector of sorts for most of my life. I started back in high school with a love for vintage clothes, shoes, gloves. When I had my own apartment, I moved on to vintage kitchenware like Pyrex, canister sets, salt and pepper shakers. After I bought my own house, I consolidated, sort of, I mean how many canister sets does one person need, let alone store?
Typewriters and The End of an Era
I stopped my amassing of all things vintage for quite a few years until I fell in love with typewriters. The manual portable ones Royals, Smith Coronas, Remingtons, Olympias… I couldn’t get enough of them. I realized after the first purchase of my 1940’s Royal that these would never be made again.
The literal end of an era.
Like a rotary phone, in retrospect, typewriters slowed life down compared to what we use today. Have you recently dialed a rotary phone? It amazes me with our short attention span these days we ever had the patience to wait for the phone to rewind after each number painfully made its way back. But with nothing to compare it to, it must have seemed much faster than calling the operator or waiting for a party line to clear in order to make a basic phone call.
Typewriters are the same. They hold on for dear life to our mistakes, our lack of expertise in margins and ribbon changing and of course they offer no spell check, no delete button, barely an exclamation mark, let alone font style or size. There is also no file storage except for your own ability to photocopy your work and pray you remember where you may have stored it.
Typewriters carry the most delightful stories, too. Everyone who sees them has a story to tell. Their typing class, their typing teachers, their first job, their first paper, their first typewriter, endless good and bad experiences come flying out of their smile eyed faces.
My online store has amassed an impressive collection of typewriter related products for typewriter enthusiasts, like me.
Related: Surrounded by Books
In the meantime, I also developed a deep love for old cookbooks, so I have added this to my collection and in some ways they go hand in hand. The father of typewriters, Christopher Latham Sholes, was not the first to invent but the smarty pants who patented it June 23, 1868. His first typewriter was the first to be commercially successful and it was Mr. Shoals who said:
“I do feel that I have done something for the women who have always had to work so hard. This will enable them more easily to earn a living.”
(Thank you Mr. Shoals for allowing us the privilege of entering the office to do secretarial work for ass grabbing bosses, well before sexual misconduct in the workplace was even a consideration of bad behavior.)
So cookbooks and typewriters, a combination of delight for this collector.
My grandmother’s handwriting wasn’t too clear so I have hundreds of her amazing recipes neatly typed out on 3x5 index cards. Many women typed recipes this way and so the marriage of these two collections makes perfect sense. I will be doing some unique events soon that celebrate slowing down. Writing down our recipes to pass on to the people who want them, food events, writing retreats, wine education and just more creative excuses to gather and create. All with the intent of bringing more joy into our lives.
Joy is beauty too.