I Never Set Out To Be A Collector


In no particular order, these are the typewriters I’ve found since February:

  • 1949 Royal KMG
  • 1969 Smith Corona Cougar Deluxe
  • 1972 Hermes 3000
  • 1929 Remington Portable 3
  • 1959 Hermes 3000 (Script)
  • 1957 Olympia SM3
  • 1947 Royal Quiet Deluxe
  • 1953 Smith Corona Skyriter
  • 1964 Smith Corona Sterling (5AX)
  • 1971 Royal Mercury
  • 1953 Hermes Ambassador
  • 1957 Sears Tower Commander

This list comprises the typewriters I’ve acquired since my lovely spouse pulled the 1949 KMG out of a pile of stuff bound for the landfill.

Outside of the ill-fated attempt to collect beer bottles when I was a kid, I’ve never been a collector. Somehow, typewriters have captured my imagination.

I chalk it up to their elegance, all those moving pieces that you can see and understand how they work. Maybe even more important is how dependable most of them are. The 1929 Remington took a little bit of love, but it types like a charm almost 100 years later. Simple and amazing.

I try not to collect willy nilly and I’ve put a cap on how much I’m willing to spend on any typewriter at this point. There are a few models out there that I’m keeping an eye out for, but even then, certain criteria must be met, such as being within a reasonable drive, the cost thing, condition. Mostly it comes down to how many of these can I realistically use?

I don’t display these machines so much as rotate which ones I use. Two of them, the Royal KMG and the Hermes Ambassador, are standard machines, in other words, not portable, so they occupy somewhat permanent stations. The portables move around and get used depending on how I’m feeling or if I’m looking to shake things up.

I’m not sure what the point of all this is other than to scratch that itch to tinker, problem solve, get things working and write via another medium besides my laptop.

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