My Retro Typewriter

Opinions Posted Jun 2, 2014 by Jennifer Torode

Yesterday, I ventured to the lovely seaside town of Newburyport, Massachusetts to walk around, soak up the sun and fresh air and hit the incredible shops. One of the shops I visited was Flukes & Finds, one of my favorites as they always have such fantastic antiques with a splash of some modern pieces.

The store always looks so inviting—staged just a smidge without trying too hard. New Yorkers would give this place a thumbs-up for sure! I always find myself smiling as I wander through the aisles of old furniture turned modern, timeworn wire baskets flipped on their backs turned into ceiling lights, salvaged school benches, 1960-something glass wear, old cameras and typewriters from all the decades since 1940 and the list goes on.

What struck me was one of the old typewriters. It was the exact 1970 model my family had when I was growing up. It still looked pretty cool. Ours was a cocoa brown with beige trim—very retro (sort of like the one below). I used it throughout junior high/middle school and high school for all sorts of essays and school projects. I’m sure there were more modern typewriters but we made do just fine with this one.


So, there I stood in the shop reminiscing about the days in school when, on occasion, teachers would tell us to forgo our pencils and pens for the wonderful experience of formality…aka…a type-written project. I instantly felt compelled to set my fingers across the retro keys and type ever so lightly so I wouldn’t look like a complete dork. And as luck would have it, when I looked up, there was a sign practically right under my nose that stated, “Please do not touch typewriters.” Whoops!

As I walked away, I thought of all the paper I used to waste back in the day. Some of you may remember, looking up how to spell a word in the Webster dictionary or fanning through your Thesaurus to mix things up or to sound more intelligent, crumpling up those pages that were too riddled with white out marks, running out of white out, replacing the ribbon, having to go to the store to use a copying machine to make duplicates of your report, etc. Ah, the good old days! And let’s not forgot we’d have to sift through books and encyclopedias to research topics, which often resulted in getting shuttled to the local library. Two words: Card Catalogue. It may ring a bell for some.

Today, life is so much easier for all—kids, teenagers and adults of all ages. We have our laptops, Macs and PCs that are connected to printers. It’s practically a cake walk. We have auto spellcheck and the ability to scroll over any word, highlight it and click “Thesaurus” and presto…several synonymous words at our fingertips! The internet has also given us lightening-speed access to practically everything (research) under the sun, and we can command countless copies of our final master pieces at the press of a button.

Technology has surely come a long way since I was a child. I’d say that I mostly appreciate the progression while admittedly; there are still some old fashioned ways of doing things that I wish we hadn’t progressed so much on. However, and that is in all CAPS, I do not miss my days using the typewriter. I can certainly appreciate the experience and would not change that but I am grateful that I can now use that old childhood retro typewriter as part of my modern décor that sits on a shelf in my living room.