There are certain sounds that are like nectar from the gods. The clicking of a typewriter is one of those. (For me, at least.) When I was younger, my parents had an electric typewriter. At the time, I loved clicking away on it, writing my stories, pretending and making up “documents.” I would also, occasionally, get a finger shaken at me for wasting paper and the ribbon. My Mom clearly did not understand how important the paperwork was for my pretend world. There was always something about the feel of the paper, the click of the keys, the whir of taking the paper out, and having that freshly stacked paper just waiting to be sifted through.
As an adult, finding a manual typewriter in an antique store is always an occasion for giddy delight that produces goosebumps. For a while, I could only admire them for the few minutes I passed them in the stores, drooling and dreaming of pounding away at my (yet-to-be-conceived) novel. Most were out of my price range or not in working condition. I was in Santa Barbara, meandering in and out of shoppes along State Street, when I came upon a gorgeous 1960s mint green portable. Mint green being one of my favorite colors, I instantly fell for it. Being a vintage shoppe, and Santa Barbara, it too, was out of my monetary grasp. With a heavy sigh and a last longing look over my shoulder, I walked out and down the street. The image of that typewriter taunted me for weeks, until I found the typewriter that finally filled the void in my life.
A 1960s Remington Fleetwing. I’ve searched by the serial number, but have yet to be able to pinpoint a year. While in value and rarity, this may not top the charts, I was ecstatic to find it. It was in great working condition, had a ribbon easily purchased online, and was easy to use. I immediately started clicking away on it. I also wanted lighter weight paper, so it wouldn’t be so bulky when I started accumulating several pages. I searched online and found onion skin paper. One more thing out of my price range. I instead use tracing paper I bought for about $2 a pad. It might sound strange, but it works beautifully, and definitely allows for flexibility when the pages start to stack up. I also figure when writing letters (the ones I don’t feel like writing by hand), it will keep the envelop bulge to a minimum and the postage under control. I love it, and it doesn’t smudge. And the light-weight, airy crinkle sound it makes is beyond pleasing.
It also came with the carrying case, which definitely had some wear, but still zipped and the handle was still strong. It had some pamphlets/books in it. Unfortunately, the actual operating manual was not one of them. At least, if I ever have to write a 1960s term paper, I’ll know how. The date in that one is 1967. I don’t know if this is something that originally came with the typewriter (and that would make the typewriter a 1967?) or if it was something added in by the woman selling the typewriter. I’m sure I was told at the time I purchased it, but my memory isn’t always the best. (And maybe I was just so excited to get this, I didn’t really hear what she said.) And the “How to Type” one makes me giggle. I love the letters on the fingers picture. Not sure why really, but it just seems silly. And we can’t forget those “make a picture with Xs” creations! (I remember doing those in high school typing class. Mostly on Fridays, when the teacher just wanted to keep us mundanely occupied.)
Remington typewriters are quite common. They were a very popular typewriter and there were multitudes of names and varieties manufactured by the company. Several famous writers chose Remingtons to get their ideas and stories out to the world. Including Helen Gurley Brown, Agatha Christie, Arthur C. Clarke, William Faulkner, George Orwell, George Bernard Shaw, and Tennessee Williams.
I made this purchase at Antique Village Mall in San Marcos, California. And might I just add, this place is amazing and one of my favorite antique stores. The first time I stepped foot in it, they had the oldies station playing and I was instantly greeted by “I’ve Told Every Little Star” by Linda Scott, and later “Good Timin'” by Jimmy Jones. *swoon* So I immediately fell in love with the place and felt as if I could stay there forever and take up residency. It is a fairly large building filled with booths of different vendors. The merchandise ranges from furniture, to crystal, to old military items, and everything in between. The people who work here are incredibly friendly and helpful. The vendor owner where I found the typewriter happened to be there the day I bought it. She was a doll and even gave me a discount. This is also the place that holds my dream record player, but that is a future post.
Photos: by me