typewriter heaven, right down in boston.

The Lady of the Manor required some quiet time today for finishing the paperwork for the King’s Obulus (Ye Olde Tax Tyme), so the Lord and Jester-In-Residence packed up the kids and took the opportunity for a trip south to Cambridge Typewriter in Boston.

I took half a dozen machines down for trade to thin out the collection a bit, which had definitely reached “excessive accumulation” status.  In return, I brought back a lovely Olympia SF in robin egg blue, with Elite typeface.  (Pictures and typecast to follow.) I also remembered to bring my camera this time, so here are a few snapshots of the visit:

Some of the machines on the tables at Cambridge Typewriter.  The two on the left are identical to my two black Royals: a DeLuxe Portable (front) and a KHM (rear).

The shelves on the other side of the room, and the floor.  Place is all ate up with typewriters.

Tom Furrier, owner of Cambridge Typewriter and all-around nice guy, fielding questions from Quinn, a.k.a. Mister What’s-That-For?

Miss Lyra at work. (Random fact: the first time she ever labeled a computer keyboard verbally, she called it a “typewriter”.)

Future Typewriter Users of America.

A German-made Simplex from 1938.  (Trivia: the keys are the same size and shape as the ones on the German WWII “Enigma” machines.)

Another German typewriter of the 1940s–this one’s a Continental.  Looks like it came off the assembly line seven years ago, not seventy.

Olympia “Splendid 99” compact travel typewriter, predecessor of the SF series. The cream-colored case and burgundy keys are a handsome color combination.

The Olivetti Lettera 32 of Cormac McCarthy fame.  These are the first L32s I actually got to lay hands on in real life.  The left one has Elite typeface, and the right one sports a script type that is simply lovely.  They’re great little typers, and I’ve been wanting one for ages…but after trying them right next to an Olympia SF, I think the boxy German is the superior machine, no matter how much those Lettera 32s fetch on the ‘Bay these days.  (Not that the Olivettis are bad, but the Olympia feels more like a workhorse.)  One of these days I’ll buy a Lettera 32 off Tom as well, however.  The design is just slick.

Thanks to Tom Furrier of Cambridge Typewriter for having us.  It’s an awesome shop for typewriter lovers, and Tom is a class act.  If you’re looking for a specific typewriter, he can probably hook you up (he ships nationwide), and if you need one fixed, chances are he can make it whole.  (No affiliation other than being a happy customer.)

7 thoughts on “typewriter heaven, right down in boston.

  1. Cheryl says:

    Wow, thanks for the virtual visit! I love that Splendid 99. Someday I hope to visit Cambridge Typewriter.

  2. Jeffro says:

    I’m sure this will mark me as a Philistine, but I’ll never forget in high school typing class when we got the new IBM Selectrics. Just having one under my fingertips boosted my output like a turbo. Plus, one never got a key jam – just a typo – important to us ham handed types. Were I to get to jonesing for a blast from the past in the typewriter field, one of those babies would have to come home.

  3. T. Munk says:

    Sounds like you had a great trip! I got to try out an SF (the boxy kind) at MTE a week or so ago, and I concur that they are far more solid-feeling than the L32’s, and way superior to the Socialite that we have.

  4. og says:

    If y’all ever want a hardcore typing machine, you just shoot me an email. It’s free, but the shipping will probably cost you about a grand.

    http://www.blinkenlights.com/classiccmp/friden/burroughs.html

  5. john b says:

    I’m such a Philistine. I use a TRS-80 Model 100. To follow Morse Code. I have a cable and a backup cable to a Canon DWP 1000. DWP meaning Daisy Wheel Printer.

    In the new, improved, off-grid, Outrageous Manor, I will have a manual typewriter, LED lighting, A Tube Transceiver will provide warmth.

  6. Tom Furrier says:

    Marko- Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad you’re digging the SF.

  7. perlhaqr says:

    I like how the middle one in the top pic, matching the table beneath it as it does, appears to be translucent.

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