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  1 month ago


An Edinburgh bookshop owner, 35 year old Tom Hodges, is Scotland's only typerwriter mechanic.

He loves typewriters, as does a famous American film star, Tom Hanks.

Mr Hodges decided to write to Tom Hanks and let him know about his trade, his love of the machines, and his typewriter collection.

He wasn't expecting a reply, but a couple of months later, he received a letter from fellow typewriter collector, Tom Hanks.

In his reply to Mr Hodges, Tom Hanks hailed him a hero for "keeping typewriters alive".

In a 2019 interview with the New York Times, Tom Hanks said he had collected typewriters since he was a teenager.

At one point he had hundreds of the machines, which he described as "brilliant combinations of art and engineering." He has since whittled his prize typewriter collection down to just 120.

I've never collected typewriters, but I've owned and used a lot, during my career.

I've used manual typewriters - in a modern office situation - that dated back to 1920. I've used tons of chunky, clunky manual typewriters.

Then came the more streamlined manual typewriter, then the electric typewriter, the golf or type-ball typewriter etc.

The type-balls typewriters were great. The type-balls came in all sorts of type face and languages. They just clipped on and off.

Then there were the typewriter ribbons - basic black, then red and black arrived (and other colours eventually).

Then, in the 1980s, the company I worked for bought a computer. That was the end of typewriters in my working life.

Are there any memories you want to share about typewriters that have come and gone, throughout your life?


  1 month ago
I used a manual typewriter for the books I wrote in the first half of the 1990s. I still have that one, it's an old Regal, (portable they call it - it probably is if you're a weightlifter.) But I wrote my first published book on it, and somehow, it's never left. Reply

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