Make Way for the Computers!


It’s official – make way for the new world.

A truck over-flowing with old typewriters was seen heading south on the 110 this afternoon. Make no mistake, computers have officially taken over the world and typewriters are 1900s news. Somewhere in LA some undiscovered old fashioned would-be screen writer who dreams of the great american novel sobs silently.

One more pic after the jump…


9 thoughts on “Make Way for the Computers!”

  1. OMG, I wonder what’s going to become of them – in particular the type balls on the old IBM Selectrics. Those things are so fetishy for writers and word slaves everywhere. (Shuddering at the memory of my law-firm temping days …)

  2. I still have a few papers written on my portable (i.e., non-IBM Selectric with the corrasable tape) electric in college. Maybe I should scan a couple of pp and post them to Flickr. If people get really nostalgic for those stupid old machines, they can admire my hideous handiwork, rife with errata and wite-out.

    On the other hand, I think I’ll save my grandfather’s old manual portable. I’ll need something to write on after we run out of oil…

  3. I own a couple of portables – my grandfather, a young naval sub commander torpedoed to the bottom of the Pacific in World War II, left behind a beautiful little Smith-Corona portable with art-deco styling. It’s perfectly preserved, and types beautifully since it’s still in its case.

    The other is a flea-market find – a massive Underwood Standard No. 5, circa 1907. It looks like the exoskeleton loader in Aliens, only all-black with gold lettering. I actually had it refurbished 15 years ago – new rollers and platen and everything – and then didn’t type a damn thing on it because I was too deep into my new Mac IIvx (hah!). But I keep it around in case I have to kill burglars. It’s that heavy.

    (too much info, to be sure…)

  4. this makes me sick. I collect typewriters and seeing a truck hauling ’em to the dump is just terrible.

  5. I a few years ago I had a boss who insisted upon keeping an electric typewriter around the office “just in case”. I must have moved that mega-paperweight around a dozen times as whatever surface it was exercising its uselessness on was needed for an actual purpose.

  6. I picked up a Royal portable (a classic model as seen on the cover of the paperback in British Penguin of ‘Inside the Company’ by Philip Agee, all wired up for eavesdropping) in the free box outside the Salvation Army charity shop in Winton about 8 years ago. The ink pad was dry. Where was I supposed to get ink? I threw it out recently.

  7. You’re completely right that the IBM typewriter balls (please call them Elements) are a total fetish object for anyone doing any writing in the 70s, 80s and maybe even into the 90s.

    In fact, I just went on eBay and bought a bunch of them – who can say why? I certainly don’t have Old Blue any more, but at times I do miss him….

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