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Collecting the Vintage Typewriter

Collecting the Vintage Typewriter

The Vintage Typewriter

Clickety clack, clickety clack, swoosh, ding! Doesn’t everyone love the sound of a vintage typewriter? It can evoke sweet memories of Grandpa at his desk, a classic movie featuring a romance writer, or if you’re old enough, high school typing class.

History

Invented in 1868 by American Christopher Latham Sholes, the Remington was the first machine that succeeded on the market after 112 previous models failed.

Through the years, the vintage typewriter became streamlined, converted to electric style, and sadly, eventually replaced by word processing devices and computers.

Admittedly, the original models made of steel are heavy and cumbersome, but the ornate detail on this type of vintage typewriter is admirable.

Pair your vintage typewriter with other vintage collectibles, like The Little Burlap Barn
Pair your vintage typewriter with other vintage collectibles, like The Little Burlap Barn did here with old photograph portraits and department store pricing signs. Photograph from The Little Burlap Barn.

Collecting the Vintage Typewriter

With the resurgence of flea market and farmhouse style décor, creative ways to put these beauties on display have risen in popularity.

The vintage typewriter fits in with ease on a desk, as part of a vignette on a shelf or console table or even on a small bedside table. Their color and heft provide wonderful grounding to any display.

Add styling to the top and sides of the vintage typewriter
Add styling to the top and sides of the vintage typewriter, such as flowers in the spring and summer, fall leaves in autumn and even a vintage Christmas card or two during the holidays. Photograph by Karina @magnoliatreefarmhouse.

Styling

Adding bits of memorabilia to your vintage typewriter can give further personality. It will also highlight your interests or collections, and you can easily change them from season to season.

Ideas include:

  • Vintage postcard, greeting cards and letter bundles.
  • Vintage Valentine’s Day cards
  • Children’s artwork
  • Tiny baubles: animals, trees, thimbles, ornaments, flowers
Tuck your vintage typewriter on an open shelf alongside your other vintage collectibles
Tuck your vintage typewriter on an open shelf alongside your other vintage collectibles, or on a desk by itself so it can shine. Photograph by Kelly McMaster.

Expect to pay $50-$300 for a vintage typewriter, depending upon the condition, brand and often, pure luck. Mint condition, rare pieces have been known to fetch up to $800! Most sought-after brands include Underwood, Royal, Remington, and Smith Corona. Flea markets, estate sales, antiques shops, Esty and eBay are great sources to start with. Once in a great while, you can find a gem of a vintage typewriter in a Thrift or Consignment shop.

See Also

Be on the lookout for this versatile and unique accessory, that adds a touch of history and whimsy that never goes out of style!

P.S.

Still want to use a vintage typewriter? If you love the idea of a USB version, visit USB Typewriter for a conversion kit. Or to simply enjoy the sound of a vintage typewriter on your current keyboard, visit Nattyware.


Self portrait of Kelly McMaster against a cottage background

Kelly McMaster has been meandering through flea markets and vintage shops for the past 30 years, loving the nostalgia and whimsy of previously-loved treasures. She’s the editor and Brand Leader of our sister magazine, Cottages & Bungalows. She is grateful every day for a career that shines the light on beautiful home decor. You can also find her happily surrounded by her own finds @cottagefleabythesea.

If you love vintage, then here’s how to go vintage in your home while maintaining a modern appeal. And don’t forget to follow us on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest for your daily dose of farmhouse inspiration!

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