The Displayed Remington

Earlier today I was at a library when I came about a glass case of formally banned books, and what should be centered among them was this:


A mid to late 1930s (based on my knowledge) Remington. Case and all. At first I was amused by this, and I started taking pictures from every angle. However, seeing it on display like this sparked some of my memory.

In the documentary California Typewriter, Tom Hanks is interviewed about his collection of typewriters and his opinion of where they stand among the the public. He said that based on his findings, many collectors of these old relics use them for nothing but display. He talks about how these typewriters are not being treated fairly by just sitting on a shelf all day.

I can’t say I totally agree with him on this issue. Yes, I believe all typewriters should be used to their full extent, though I find that they make very decorative displays. In fact, I would prop a machine up in a fitting place in my bedroom, partly to state that yes, I am a typewriter enthusiast and I am proud of it (they would really tie my room together). I would just make sure to dust them every so often, to prevent dust from gathering in the mechanisms.

I also have a friend that owns a Smith-Corona Enterprise. It’s a good machine, though I can’t say I prefer electrics. I’m getting beside the point, though. He uses his machine often, but never displays it. Nowadays, I don’t with my machines either. The most display they get is being propped up on my stand when not in use, and everything is still just fine.

To conclude, I am writing this post to state that what you do with your machine is quite frankly your business. Whether you want to use them everyday or prop them on a shelf, they fit both job descriptions perfectly.

I will leave you with this one note, though. I do agree with Mr. Hanks in a slight way. Whether you are displaying your machine because you just like the way it ties together your office, you’re experiencing writer’s block, or you just simply don’t know how to type, I would encourage you to take that typewriter down and get at that keyboard. You never know where a clean paper, a fresh ribbon, and a trusty typewriter can get you.


8 thoughts on “The Displayed Remington”

  1. During the week before “World Typewriter Day,” I had twelve of my machines out on library tables. They got used, but never abused. They can take it. My 1919 Corona 3, for example, didn’t get to be nearly a hundred years old by being fragile.
    As soon as I post this, I’m going to turn my chair toward the desk beside me, on which waits a 1948 Remington Noiseless, so I can write a birthday letter to an old friend. The Noiseless IS an old friend, and often more reliable. 🙂


  2. With a new cabinet, I now do have some on display (behind glass). Nevertheless, they all get used occasionally. Somehow, I think to really own a ‘machine’, you have to use it – even if only rarely. (And on top of that – “disuse is bad for the machine”, to quote The Gramophone Company.)

    That portable had me wondering for a while before placing it as an Envoy – never seen one of these, at least never in Europe, very rare machine (for display then 🙂


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