Today I found an old typewriter at a thrift store. Let me back up. My DAUGHTER found an old typewriter at a thrift store today.
I have been wanting to find a manual typewriter for some time. Not specifically hunting one down, but prepared to pick one up if I stumble upon one. Today, we decided to pop into the thrift store, mostly to get out of the house, but I’m also looking for some dining room chairs to
sit in my garage waiting for me to paint them refinish. The chair hunt was a bust, but there was an amazing Zenith stereo console that I would have brought home with me in a second if I could justify another piece sitting in the garage while I work up the nerve to tackle something new (painting/repurposing).
Then we came across the typewriter sitting on a desk. It was in a hard, black case. And the case would not open!! My daughter and I worked at it, had my husband come over and try, found a butter knife for leverage, worked at it some more, all to no avail. At this point, all I knew was that it was a Smith-Corona (or at least the case was). My husband was not an advocate of buying it without being able to open the case. It could have missing keys, etc. I really wanted it and figured I could get the case open with some prying. It would be like a mystery bag and the price point of $7 was worth the risk to me.
When we got home, I was able to pry the case open. Inside was a Smith-Corona Galaxie Deluxe.
It had all its keys. It had the ribbon. It had a tag and owner’s guarantee card. It was beautifully vintage….retro….antique…. take your pick .
Apparently there are “proper” ways to use these words with antique typically being over 100 years old. In this case, that wouldn’t be an applicable term.
However the simple definitions in the Merriam-Webster dictionary are:
Antique: belonging to an earlier period, style, or fashion : old and often valuable.
Retro: looking like or relating to styles or fashions from the past.
Vintage: a period in which something was made or was begun.
I have a love for items from my past that are no longer in standard use. Typewriters and rotary phones among things I’d love to own for posterity. I’m not an expert on these blasts from the past. I do know that this typewriter is older than me. The typewriter was purchased in January 1970, 7 3/4 years before I was born!
I don’t think my daughter completely understood the newness of modern technology. When I was a sophomore in high school, half of my typing class was on the typewriter and half on a computer. This was in 1991-92. I had a car phone when I turned 18. They advocated against a cellular phone for me because the range was about 1/2 mile instead of a mile and 1/2 and I lived in the country. Granted, I was not ahead of the curve, but my first e-mail address was when my husband and I met in 1998 (I still have it, by the way). And I’m not even 40 yet, people! (for my younger readers, I understand that I’m ancient. Some of you will realize the immense communication gains in a short period of time.)
My daughter was so excited to see if it worked. I was sure the ribbon would be completely dried out. And while it does need replaced, it did work!
She watched her first horror film last week, so if you are a fan of horror you’ll understand her first typing attempt. I have two sets of people ( Jami and then my three closest friends when I graduated high school) with whom each of my experiences with this film has left longstanding memories.
It did not occur to me until afterward that this recent watching of The Shining was the cause for her excitement over stumbling upon a typewriter. I was just enjoying our shared joy over the thrill of finding this treasure.
Every day….making memories….creating our story.