Archive for April, 2015|Monthly archive page

Obsessed with a Royal Typewriter-Spring Cleaning

In NYC History, nyc photographer on April 2, 2015 at 1:36 pm

Springtime in the North Eastern part of the United States is noticed by warmer temperatures, longer hours of daylight and the budding of flowers and trees.  It’s been a long cold winter, and now this change is truly welcomed.  Time to shake off the heavy coats and boots-just throw on a pair of sungalsses and head outside.  (OK, maybe in May)

On the calendar, Easter is also a reminder that nature will be bringing changes to the world.  For me this means it’s time to overhaul the inside (apartment) once again.  Time to put away all remaining winter themed items (yes that includes some Christmas…) and brighten up the place-it’s time for “spring cleaning”!

So on Monday, the process began.  I fixed shelving brackets in my closet and dish cabinet. Scrubbed the grout in the shower.  Moved stereo equipment to clean behind the wires and speakers.  Polished mirrors and screens.  Threw out things that clearly should have been tossed long ago.  And then I came to the “end table” of my sofa.  (Which is really an antique sewing machine).

You know that expression “you don’t see things until you are ready”?  This might have been the case here.  This was day 2.  I needed to dust off my old Royal Typewriter.  It had been sitting at the end of my couch for years.  Back in the late 80’s I took it from my grandmother.  Along with her rotary phone.

I can still hear her now:  “I rent that phone from Bell.  They will expect it back!”  

Put that into perspective!

This poor old typewriter really needed more than just a quick dusting.  It was crying out for some love.  I lifted it up and placed it on my dining table.  Looking at it from a different perspective I began wondering if it would still work.  In these moments of curiosity, my mind was reeling as it went through stages of excitement and then a slightly obsessive behavior.  I needed to know everything I could.  Including finding a ribbon to type with.

View 1 Royal Typewriter

Some of the keys were sticking.  The carriage did not move easily across the line of type. But there was a beautiful ding as the end margin was reached-the bell still rung out clearly.

I started to ask the “google” all sorts of questions.

As I got answers to these, other questions came to mind.  And so for about 24 hours I obsessed.  I called my mother to find out the type of oil I should use.  I bothered hardware store men with my questions.  Clearly this has not been a topic of discussion for probably decades.  But I did find some extraordinary resources online.  And a segment done by The CBS Sunday Morning Show in 2012 sharing a resurgence of typewriter use.

With a bit of cleaning and drops of oil the keys work effortlessly.  There is something magical that happens as I strike each key.  The words form on a sheet of paper right in front of my eyes.   Call it nostalgia, memory of my grandmother, memories of how I got through college [yes, I had a blue Smith Corona electric typewriter in college with blue ribbon (film)] or maybe because it is different to how we type today.

Simple.  Manual.  All you need is a good ribbon and sheets of blank paper.  You can feel the words come through your fingers.  Whatever it is, the change is exciting and new and will add a nice dimension to my life.  And hopefully this obsession will just blend into my normal life.

View 2 Royal Typewriter

Until next time.


adventure is life, live it! ®