I shall make amends. I won’t hide you anymore. I will make sure you are well used and loved.”
I was using my mother’s (actually grandmother’s) Hermes typewriter the other day to work on my query letter. I was being lazy and somewhat economical as I needed a printed copy of my query letter, but I didn’t want to hook my laptop up to the printer. Trust me, in this household, the printer and such isn’t an easy task. It’s actually easier to type out a whole letter with a typewriter than hooking up the printer.
Okay, well that might be a slight exaggeration. I was just not in the mood to hook it up. So, there I typed the letter up on the minty green Hermes. That is a lovely machine. Very 50’s-esque. In doing so, my father asked about my typewriter I purchased at our second-hand store for $5. I marched up and found the machine. It’s a lovely black Remington in a case. Smooth round keys. Lovely clacking motion. Quite a nice machine.
Come to find out, that wasn’t mine. Yeah, well I guess I had forgotten what mine looked like. I actually thought the Remington was a bit different, but I didn’t see how it could be, until I was cleaning under my bed and came across mine. Mine is a Royal.
Turns out, the Remington we got when we lived in Colorado and had gone to a yard sale. Well, all of the machines are lovely. I, myself, am kind of partial to my Royal. The keys are just a bit larger than the Remington, and there is a ridge around so less slip factor when typing. Granted, my mom’s Hermes has got them all beat, but the downside to that one is it weighs a ton. It’s much heavier than either the Royal or the Remington.
I typed up my second revised query letter on my Royal the other day. It felt wonderful. I love the clacking, rhythmic motion. You have to think differently on a typewriter. If you make a mistake, then hit the backspace key….. It doesn’t correct itself. You have to get out the White-out to fix it. Or correction tape.
When you want to advance the sentence to the next line, you have to manually ‘enter’ the carriage return. It causes you to slow down in some ways, and to be more careful how you type because there is no auto correct. No spell check. You can’t just backspace to fix a mistake.
I decided to leave my baby out and try to use it more often when I have ideas that I just want to tap out. Sometimes I don’t want to pull up the laptop and have it running. Plus, with the laptop on, I am inevitably distracted by wanting to check something online. It’s not possible to check the internet with a typewriter. And there is something pleasing about the sound. Along with just typing on something you can bang away at.
I went and told my mother how much I enjoyed typing on it and she reminisced about how much she liked typing. I guess she was really good in highschool where you actually used to take typing. I think I would have liked that class. Now, the Hermes was actually my grandmother’s, and my mom’s went somewhere a long time ago. She says it was a Smith Corona, I think, but my parents decided to get rid of it a long time ago. I guess she really didn’t want to, as the look on her face was not happy.
Oh well, things go away sometimes in life. But now our house has three. And I plan on making good use of my Royal. I do need to clean it up a bit. A few springs are rusty. It has been under my bed, after all. I really need to look into getting some new ribbons, and I would love to have it serviced, but that’s a non possibility at this time. The ribbon is the most crucial.
Anyways, dear typewriter. I found you. I think I’ll use you for a while.
- TapTapTapTapTap – Ding! The Return Of Typewriters (broadsideblog.wordpress.com)
- Click, clack, ding! Sigh … Manual typewriters inspire digital generation (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Typewriters Catching on with Young People (izabael.com)
- Word of the day #46: typewriter (brilliantbook.wordpress.com)
- A Brief History of the QWERTY Keyboard (brighthub.com)