Thrifted this little gem at least 3 years ago for $20, off an old man in Thieves’ Market.
I had been shopping for awhile, when suddenly it began to rain out of the blue. The rain was making a steep and swift progression from drizzle to downpour in a manner of minutes, and all the vendors (mostly old uncles and aunties) were scrambling to pack their things off the pavements and evacuate the area, hobbling about and speaking in dialect (unlike the diluted versions our generations use today). What a sight right out of a 1920s movie scene, you can imagine…
This old man set up his stuff closer to the back of the market, and I had already spent most of my money on a couple of REALLY old coins from around the globe, some vinyl records for $1 each, and a vintage men’s watch, but this typewriter (complete with a black carrying case) caught my eye and I was immediately in love!
Its cream colour and beautifully preserved keys captivated me instantly. I was intrigued by its simplicity and well-crafted body, and became reminiscent of how people used to use these everyday. And this ACTUALLY belonged to someone who used it in that era, not like those easily obtainable, ‘vintage-inspired’ imitations that you can buy for brand new off eBay nowadays. This had character. It must have been through a great deal before it ended up here, surely. I thought, “I MUST HAVE IT.”
So I utilised the rain- a roadside seller’s worst nightmare, I’m sure (and my level 99 bargaining skills)… and ended up taking it home for the last $20 I had left!
I took it home and didn’t think to check if it worked (how silly of me on hindsight), assuming that because I got it at such a cheap price, it was probably damaged beyond repair. every now and then I’d punch at a couple of keys, but never once did I try to type something on an actual piece of paper.
I guess taking part in the recent Proletariat Poetry Factory as a poet and having to write poems on typewriters rekindled my curiosity about this old girl I had bought so many years ago. I TRIED IT TODAY, AND GUESS WHAT… IT WORKS!!!!! after all this time…you have no idea how ecstatic/stoked/euphoric I felt when I punched a (very typical) ‘hello’, and out it came before my eyes, albeit a little faint.
I am truly BEYOND HAPPY. There has always been something mystical about writing music and poetry on a piece of history, and now I can do it in my own home, without having to spend hundreds of $$$ on cheap imitations or actual vintage pieces marketed at exorbitant prices.
feeling so blessed. Sometimes the best things are right before our eyes; you just have to take that little step and look a little closer.
You can be certain that a handful of my trademark swing/rockabilly/blues songs are gna be born while this typewriter helps fuel my inspiration. Can’t wait to go back to Thieves’ Market again!