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Typewriters — the original laptop.

The Classic Typewriter Page: a fascinating and fun stop on your meander through the WWW.

It wasn’t too long ago that writers pounded out their articles and stories on intricate machines crafted of hefty metal. They were heavy, bulky, messy and noisy, too. But they became a trusted friend, a side-kick, an essential tool that has now been relegated to a mere décor item and, more frequently, dark closets and dusty attics.

The Sholes & Glidden of 1873 – credited with establishing the market for typewriters and revolutionizing the business world.

There is a small, but fiercely loyal association of collectors who scour garage sales and swap meets seeking these icons of yesteryear. They gather infrequently but are highly active on the internet. Typewriters are actively bought and sold on eBay and there are some very nice websites hosted by avid collectors.

If the thought of the internet being the intersection of the typewriter and the computer is a bit of a paradox, you’re in for a real treat when you visit the site of Richard Polt, a professor of philosophy at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Richard has been a devoted typewriter collector since 1994 and inaugurated the site on December 9, 1995. There have been 1,078,340+ visitors since then – the million mark was reached on April 30, 2010.

You can find The Classic Typewriter Page at:

A surprisingly comprehensive offering of topics is available for those who are serious collectors and those who are merely curious. Here’s what you’ll find:

  • A Brief History of Typewriters
  • A photo gallery of unique machines (you’ll be amazed at the variety!)
  • Remington Portables (for which Richard’s heart has a soft spot)

  • Typewriter parts (and the identification thereof)

  • The Typewriters of Famous Authors

Ian Fleming working his magic for James Bond on one of his Royal portables.

  • FAQ – very helpful

But that’s not all:

Subscription information available on site

  • ETCetera – the Journal of the Early Typewriter Collectors Association
  • Resources
  • Restoration (tips for the DIYer)
  • Public Displays of Typewriters and Museums that house Typewriters
  • Repair Shops (those that still work on these beasts)
  • Richard’s own extensive collection (photos and descriptions of nearly 200 machines plus 50 he formerly owned)

Richard’s Crandall (1881) which he restored.

  • The 10 Most Wanted Typewriters (for those who want to profit from the hobby)
  • Mailing Lists (to stay in touch with other collectors)
  • Typewriter Fonts (how to make your computer emulate vintage technology)
  • Store (get your souvenirs)
  • Tributes
  • Blog (Richard maintains several and they are all very interesting)
  • Links (to other fanatics and related stuff)

One could spend days on this site alone just exploring the wealth of information. If the sound of typewriter keys slapping authoritatively upon a blank page makes your heart race, and the melodic “ding” when you come to the end of a line evokes a wave of nostalgia, you will treasure this site and will bookmark it for frequent return visits.

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