There is something about the sleek black metal, the over-sized upright frame, the click of the keys, and ding when you reach the end of a line….old fashioned typewriters may have been functionally superseded by computers, but their ergonomic and aesthetic functions will never be replaced.
My 3 favorite old fashioned typewriters
The Underwood typewriter was first produced in 1895 by John Underwood, who was the son of a typewriter ribbon manufacturer. These typewriters, including one my grandmother used to type up news stories for her local newspaper, dominated the market for decades, and are nearly worthless today, even as an antique. But regardless of value, these typewriters are certainly handsome.
The Royal typewriters were introduced in 1906, and still exist today (under a different name).
Over time, Royals evolved to be less upright in stature, and were developed with sleeker keyboards and fancier colors (green! red!). However, changes in technology over time also meant Royals were eventually manufactured with plastic frames – not my favorite period in Royal history, however I have inherited a fantastic Royal from my friend’s grandmother which has a longer paper spool, for secretaries to accommodate over-sized documents.
Corona typewriters, later merging with the (much older) Smith Company to be called Smith-Corona typewriters, have an interesting history which includes several folding models in the early 20th century. Some Coronas also featured accessories like label holders or tripods. Many Corona models are smaller and sleeker, making them more portable, and today working Coronas can still be fitted with ribbons you can buy online