Buying a typewriter

I’ve had a couple of eye operations over the last several years and make my money from various forms of writing. I’m considering different ways to reduce eye strain by not spending so much time looking at a computer screen, and one option is to use a typewriter.

Mostly right now I just want to see what’s out there and, even better, try one out.

I’ve particularly got my eye on the Nakajima electric typewriter, still manufactured in Japan, since it’s hopefully quieter.

I’ve seen some manual typewriters somewhere in Taipei, but can’t remember where. Like I say, I’d prefer to try one out rather than just order one off Amazon and pay a bundle for shipping. Anyone seen anything like this for sale here?

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Hope this one works for you…

If you are in Chicago, here’s an airsoft Chicago Typewriter…

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I’d highly recommend that you visit Words Studio. The owner, Michael Lin, is also an avid collector and he might has some surplus Underwood machines to sell. He also provide fresh ribbon and replacement service. And yes, you can test type on the spot.

To purchase from online seller or local swift store the risk is that the seller knows very little about typewriters let alone allowing a proper test typing. Always avoid shipping. Always pickup by yourself. A budget limited to $2000 is quite safe if you’re just a beginner.

Check Joe Van Cleave youtube channel and you’ll learn everything about typewriters.

I have seen manual typewriters sold on a literal street corner in Taipei - Zhongshan N Rd Sec 3 corner Dehui St across from the main entrance of Datong College. I saw this twice - ok, maybe I’ve lived too long in this city.

It was like a scalper. Someone with a manual typewriters (the kind with the ink ribbons) at their feet looking around to see if any passersby were interested. I found it hilarious and I even thought about getting one the more I thought about them.

There must be a shop nearby. Maybe one of those handyman/repair guys who have old equipment in good condition.

Thanks Luke! Much appreciated

I was going to check out some of the secondhand furniture shops as well. Also a good excuse to get out of the house for a few hours.

Don’t forget to share what you bump into. Some machines are so saught-after but undervalued that I might talk you into not buying it and I’ll grab and run!

I’ve got a typewriter I bought last year that I don’t use much. It is a roto, I haven’t had any problems with it though I think the letter faces need to be cleaned. It has a ribbon that I replaced fairly recently. I’ll post a picture of it tonight. Lmk if you’re interested

Recent acquisition (HERMES 3000) and repair case(ROYAL COMPANION)

Another recent acquisition, ABC 3002.

Would this be a good thing for the kids to practice typing on without destroying their eyes?

Or is it very different to typing on a computer?

It would be great fun and interactive. In terms of keyboard layout, it’s the same.

I learnt how to type, using a typewriter when I was a kid.

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Some machines come with bigger type, usually 10 character per inch which is better for weary eyes. A easy way to identify without test typing, is the ruler goes up to 80 instead of 100.

I didn’t know that. Thanks!

Latest acquisition! It needs a lot of cleaning and lube job though,

Happy typing!

Someone attempting to use a chicago typewriter.

Found one on Facebook Marketplace.
May need some TLC and a new ribbon.
Price is fair.
Seems like a 10CPI typeface (bigger font)

Although I never have the chance to lay my hands on a Erika, and this is a later machine which the quality is inferior to its ancestors, it remains a good brand among collectors.
Price-wise I’d highly recommend.
PS. I later found that it is a AZERTY keyboard layout. Which means a bit of re-learning how to type is required.