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Typewriter Exchange, 2218 Two Notch Road: 2013   6 comments

Posted at 12:18 am in Uncategorized



I would never go back to one, but there is something magical about a typewriter: the rhythm of the keys, the ding of the bell, the tactile sensation of the platten ratchet advancing while you slap the carriage back over.. Even the smell of one is distinctive, a unique combination of metal, stale air, oil and ink. And for something ubiquitous so recently there are few other things (the phonograph is one..) that illustrate the generational divide so clearly. Set a high school student in front of a typewriter today, and you might as well have supplied a blank cuneiform tablet and chisels.

The Typewriter Exchange had been on Two Notch for as long as I can remember, probably going back into the '60s. I often wondered in recent years how they continued on, but a look through their window suggested they had moved into computer repair as typewriters became paperweights. Although the building had been up for sale since at least 2010, the business continued until recently, but last time I drove by, I noticed the place is now a church.

UPDATE 29 April 2014 -- Here is the place today as Fruit Of The Spirit Love Ministry:


Written by ted on April 25th, 2014

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6 Responses to 'Typewriter Exchange, 2218 Two Notch Road: 2013'

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  1. Guy's and Girl's, remember a while back when we were talking about things not around much anymore? Rotary dial phones, phone booths etc. Well, the typewriter is another good example.

    I to do not know how they continued to stay in business as long as they did. I do not know anyone who still uses a typewriter although I'm sure people still do.

    As Ted said, there is something magical about one.
    Trying to place exactly where this building is on Two Notch.


    25 Apr 14 at 5:55 am

  2. I was in the Happy Bookseller shortly before it closed, and someone in it was banging away on a typewriter. I just re-read the entry on the Happy Bookseller, and, boy, how times have changed since 2008. At the time, "four big box" booksellers had squeezed out the Happy Booksellers, and now the big box stores themselves have been mostly squeezed out. Similar to the way the local video rental places mostly died out when the big box rentals came to town--and now they're gone, too.


    25 Apr 14 at 6:53 am

  3. @rick - I'm like you. How the heck did they stay open this long? I have not used a typewriter since the mid 80's. I still have one in the attic that I used to type up reports and papers from high school and college....


    25 Apr 14 at 9:19 am

  4. I have two electric typewriters I've inherited...I've also inherited a bunch of mailing labels (from different sources) that don't have a word processing template that they work with so I use the typewriters to address stuff to people utilizing those labels...I've addressed labels (between the two) to every US state at one point except Rhode Island...

    The late Andy Rooney had 19 Underwood typewriters that he spoke of and I gathered that they took him back to the days when they were the only typing tool they had.

    The word typewriter is the longest word in the English language that can be typed with one row of keys on a standard QWERTY keyboard.


    25 Apr 14 at 6:31 pm

  5. @Andrew - I also have a stack of old tractor feed mailing labels that have been laying around since the old mainframe impact days. I don't know why I keep them. Probably because I still have a box of IBM Hollerith cards, several 3420 tape reels, a 3330 disc pack, flowcharting templates, coding sheets and identification plates from and old System 370/168.


    26 Apr 14 at 1:58 am

  6. In the early 70s I had a Saturday morning job at the Columbia Record and a 1/2 hour before deadline the newsroom was filled with the sounds of manic typing and the constant chatter of the AP and UPI teletype machines. It was a strange orchestra of sounds with telephones ringing and harried people trying to be heard above the din.


    26 Apr 14 at 5:01 am

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