Do you ever wonder how it would be like to walk into a typewriter shop during the old days? Just entering a building full of warehouse shelves and lots and lots of typewriters?
Those who have a typewriter repair shop in the area probably haven’t, but I did. And I was happily surprised when Frank told me the collection of the former Scryption museum (which had to close in 2011) was still around and partly up for sale. Of course, they needed to be visited!
Together with some people from Hack42 we went to Onterfd Goed (translated: disinherit goods, name of the foundation currently in possession of the former museum collection) last Saturday. It was truly amazing! There were lot’s of different pens, pencils, ink sets, stamps, typewriters, computers and books about all of the above. We felt like kids in a toyshop.
After the welcoming speech about the history of the former Scryption museum and what this foundation is doing with the collection, we started our treasure hunts.
There was so much to see! Sholes&Glidden, Chicago, Hammonds, Mignons, Salters, a Williams, Olivers, Bar-let’s, a Baby-Rem, Yosts, Hermess’, manuals, electrics, from the nineteenth century till late eighties, from British to Japanese, about 600 of them. And supplies too, like the stencil paper ribbon below, spools, springs, maintenance kits, ribbon tins… I soon stopped making pictures of everything, because my camera couldn’t keep up with my eyes and the damned thing started to get in my way whenever I wanted to touch something (which was everything of course).
I soon started to pull typewriters out of their racks to put them on the table. “This I would like to have. This one too. Maybe this one? Ooh! And this one!” Trying to keep an eye on whether it would be in my budget or not, not pulling too many because I promised myself I could only bring ONE typewriter home with me that day. In the mean time I also started to look around the supplies and also put those of interest on the table.
In between the hoarding, we had a lot of interesting conversation with the hostess. About what they are doing, what we as a hackerspace are doing, how we thought they could do things better, but also about the collectors community and what all of us could mean to each other.
It was a very interesting and exciting day. After four hours of hoarding, we all found some things to bring home with us. I pulled the green Oliver 5 (pictured above), a foldable Bijou and a Meteor of the racks. The Oliver was too heavy to bring home with me that day, so I reserved it and will pick it up in two months or so (otherwise known as: when I’m done redesigning my living room to fit in my typewriters). The Bijou’s ribbon vibrator missed a teeny tiny part, which I probably wouldn’t fix although it was very irritating, so I didn’t bring that one home with me either. That only left Meteor. It passed my tests and I waited for the hostess to have time for me while she was helping the others with their purchases.
You probably already know what happened next. She looked into the database to establish the prize and broke my heart to pieces. This little machine with it’s cute chubby cheeks turned out to cost SIX HUNDRED EURO’S! I couldn’t believe it, really thought she was kidding me. My research now tells me she wasn’t and this machine really is worth much more than I expected. Far above my budget, I put the Meteor back in the racks and bought a three-bank portable Underwood instead. No time to walk around the whole room again, the perfect was Corona 3 already going home with on of the others and I was too stubborn to leave without a typewriter. ;-)