Before the snow and ice storm, Good Man and I went for a walk. On the way back to our house, we found a typewriter on the neighbor’s curb.
The neighbor was smoking a cigarette on his stoop. “Taking a walk before the snow?”
“Yep. Can I take this typewriter?”
He chuckled. “If it’s on the curb, it’s free for the taking!”
The typewriter was already covered in some snow, so I put it down on a towel on the kitchen floor. Good Man sputtered. “Are you really going to use that?”
“Yeah, this is cool.”
“You are such a hipster!”
I narrowed my eyes. “What are you talking about? I wear glasses because I actually need them, not ironically. I’m not a hipster.”
“You are hipster, Analog Wife. Embrace yourself!”
That night, I figured out how to use the typewriter, after a lot of researching. I figured out every lever and how to adjust the margins (that was the hard part). Then I needed to figure out how to clean it.
I found a great website and gathered my supplies for the next day.
The next day the ice storm had hit hard and heavy and our power was out. It was 56 degrees in our house, which I only knew because we have the original thermostat in our house (no longer hooked up) and it still tells the temperature.
Well, at least I had hot water and something to do with myself. I got to work cleaning up the typewriter. About midway through, I went and got some ink to reink the ribbon. By the time I got home, the power was back on.
How to Load the Ribbon
Let’s Take a Bath!
I popped off every nicotine-stained key and used a toothbrush and some denatured alcohol to start cleaning. While the keys were soaking, I reinked the ribbon.
One of the keys kept popping off. When I examined it, I noticed that the slot that held the key on was wider than the other keys. I jammed a small piece of paper towel in there and it stayed on. (Interestingly, the contact cemented key stayed on with no problems.)
Removing the Platen
After cleaning, I tested everything. It worked! But my typing was really uneven, and I kept skipping stitches. I just needed some practice typing on a manual typewriter.
I called Good Man over and he tried the typewriter. When he got to the end of the row, he said, “I don’t know how to get it back!”
I pointed to the return and he gleefully kept typing.
First Time Using a Manual Typewriter
Ready to Go
No Nicotine Stains
Shiny and Clean