a really old laptop.


Here’s Quinn with the typewriter Robin gave me as a birthday gift last year.  It’s a Royal KHM, transitional model, made in early 1935.

This is a device that was made before WWII, and it’s still as mechanically sound as it was in the 1930s.  I had to clean it up and lube it a bit, but there’s not a thing wrong with that old Royal, and with a minimum of care, it will last long enough for Quinn’s kids to type on it.

I got it out of the closet this morning to look up the serial number and find a new ribbon for it online, and Quinn came to see what I was doing.

Q: “What’s that, Daddy?”

M: “It’s a typewriter.”

Q: “What’s a typewriter for?”

M: “It’s for writing stuff, like letters and stories.”

(Quinn tentatively trying a few keys)

Q: “It has words on it.”

M: “It has letters on it.  You make the words with the letters.”

(Quinn is trying a few more keys, with more confidence)

“Please teach me how to make the letters, Daddy.”


(Now, if he gets a short story into Asimov’s before I do, then maybe I’ll nudge him towards playing the cello, but for now, he can hack away at that solid old Royal all he wants.)


5 thoughts on “a really old laptop.

  1. Cliff Burns says:

    Gorgeous machine. It’s a good thing I have such little disposable income, that’s the sort of thing I’d be collecting. Switching to a computer keyboard likely saved my fingers (I use three digits when I write and pound way too hard) but I kind of have a soft spot for my typewriting days. Of course, editing was hell, I can recall typing and retyping pages (even back then I was an obsessive perfectionist) but these new-fangled keyboards don’t give you that classic “whap! whap! whap!”, like short bursts of a machine gun.

    Fun post, brought back memories…

  2. Chris Byrne says:

    My girls started reading what I typed over my shoulder around the time they were 5 and 3. Then the older girl started wanting to type the words out for me.

    Desperately cute.

  3. i’ve said before that i think that is mr. liebkind’s ‘writer…seems nonetheworse for the toilet dunking.

    would that a bit more of will’s story could become (retroactively) autobiographical…cha ching!

    it’ll happen, young man…stay at it.


  4. ilcylic says:


    The oxygen tank I use for welding was manufactured in 1937. Still works!

  5. MarkHB says:


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