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.)