You might assume that anyone under age 25 has never even seen a typewriter, unless they’re a fan of classic movies, or the sci-fi series, Fringe. But the typewriter is making a comeback. And a lot of the newest fans are in their teens and 20s.
Tom Furrier owns Cambridge Typewriter Company in Massachusetts, a store that sells refurbished manual typewriters. And he says that high school and college students are discovering the joys of vintage Smith Coronas, Underwoods, Remingtons, and Royals in record numbers. And they’re holding “Type-Ins” at coffee houses, bars and bookstores in places like Brooklyn, Seattle, and Philadelphia. What’s a “type in?” It’s a gathering in which people compete in typing competitions, and type letters to send via snail mail.
So why do people care about typewriters in 2013? Because, just like classic cars, collectors are discovering that vintage typewriters are beautiful, solid, well-designed, and functional. They’re also hard to break, easy to fix, and seem to last forever, unlike tablets and smartphones, which become obsolete every 6 months when a new version comes out.
Typewriter fans also say they make it easier to concentrate because the machines don’t do anything but put words on paper, so you can't get distracted by Twitter, You Tube, email, or pop-up chat windows.
And when you use a typewriter, you have to think before you write. Because there’s no auto-correct.