Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Anybody Want to Buy an Old Typewriter?

I have a cherished Remington Quiet-writer my parents bought for me way back in the 1950s. They probably intended it strictly for schoolwork. It got much more use over the years as I pounded out several novels, countless articles and short stories, a play, letters and tons of other documents.

None of those novels ever sold and the play was such a terrible mess I wouldn’t even discuss it today. Many of those articles and short stories did sell and helped me learn a bit about the writing process. Though it had its faults, I loved that quirky old machine and kept it even after replacing it in the 1970s with an electric model which cost much more and wasn’t half as good. Like most everyone else I’ve turned to a computer now (I think I’m on the fourth one as a matter of fact) and it has its virtues. But I’ll never be as fond of any computer as I am of that old Remington.

I don’t really want to sell my typewriter. I mention it only as the result of reading in the New York Times yesterday morning how Cormac McCarthy plans to sell the Olivetti he’s used since 1963. McCarthy has been much more successful at the writing trade than I ever expect to be and he’s won a slew of awards attesting to his skill. He’s replaced his typewriter with another just like the old one (no computers for him) and he’s selling the Olivetti for a good purpose.

In case you want to place a bid, McCarthy’s typewriter is being auctioned off at Christie’s on Friday and it’s estimated it may fetch as much as $20,000. Proceeds will benefit the Santa Fe Institute, a nonprofit interdisciplinary scientific research institute with which he’s affiliated.

Don’t bother making any offers for my typewriter. It doesn’t work very good anymore and its hard to find ribbons. But I still have a lot of fond memories of the service it did provide for many, many years. Come to think of it, I may still have that electric in the attic if you want to make a bid on that. Anything up to and including $20,000 will be considered.

1 comment:

  1. No thanks, I trained as a typist on an upright remmington and remember the aching back only too well. Had portables and an electric and the one thing that was a real pain in the rear was ... wait for it ... carbon paper! Do you remember the horror of that messy stuff. Sure, you must do John, come out now and admit it!!