Typewriters have enjoyed a resurgence of popularity in the last fifteen years. The internet is awash with posts on forums asking "Found this in grandma's closet. What's it worth?" Younger people are turning to vintage technology to find their creative spark.
So, what models are the Internet generation looking at the most? No figures exist, but based on my own searches and perusal of online auction sites, I came up with five machines that seem to be enjoying the most attention.
1. IBM Selectric
So many people were acquainted with this machine during its reign of the office world. Even if a person didn't use it, they certainly heard about them. While the daisy wheel "wedge" typewriters eventually replaced it and are more commonly found today, the Selectric's reputation is still going strong.
2. Hermes 3000
A well-made typewriter that seems to be in a class of its own. It became "internet-famous" after Larry McMurty's infamous speech in 2006. Since then, the Hermes 3000 has received a new lease on life. Some love it. Others hate it. The speech got so much attention from online sellers that the Chicago Tribune did a piece about it.
3. Lettera 32
Yes, the Lettera 22 should be here (being a groundbreaking design and all), but since Cormac McCarthy's personal typewriter sold for over $250,000 at auction in 2009, the Lettera 32 has usurped its predecessor in online attention.
4. Quiet Deluxe
It's not hard to get noticed when you've got crinkle paint and glass keys. These have become popular as display items as well as writing machines.
5. Underwood No. 5/Royal 10
I've read a lot of articles on creative writing, whether it's about the publishing industry or advice about the craft itself. Lots of blogs and other websites use pictures of typewriters to set the mood of their piece. It's usually one of these two. They've been used in hundreds of Hollywood movies, recent titles including Misery and The Artist.
Agree? Disagree? What are your picks?
Power to the pen!