Just My Type



Many things fascinate me in this world, but nothing like the typewriter. For me, the typewriter is right up there with the handwritten letter, but I'll leave that for another post. The typewriter...such an incredible machine that has soon been forgotten by many, but yet, remembered by many as well.


"To type on a typewriter is an act that is in its own category, outshining any other machine out there that one can type on."


I had purchased typewriters in the past, but none worked well and needed tending to. To identify a professional where I live, was like finding a pot of gold, so I would often donate them, with the hope that they would make their way to someone who had the knowledge to repair them. Fortunately, I have now found one that not only operates perfectly, but also marries well with my personality.

This olive green beauty sits on my desk, surrounded by plants and sweet fairy lights. Aside from it's aesthetic contribution to my cozy, unassuming style at home, she turns my hand written poetry and stories, into intentional masterpieces and produces a melodic sound with every push of her keys. She is exquisite...


Meagan Syata, of Unplug Typewriter Co., dispensed everything I needed to know about the 1950 ROYAL Quiet de Luxe. That she had completely cleaned and addressed any issues it had and that it now stood to type anything - including, my writing.


I am so grateful to have come across this beauty and to now know of Unplug Typewriter Co. I reached back out to Meagan and asked if I could interview her. In the world we live in today, a business such as hers is a rarity and I wanted to learn more.

 

Q: How and when were you first introduced to typewriters?


A: The first typewriter I ever used was an electric typewriter that belonged to my mother. It was a big boxy gray thing. I can't even recall what kind it was. I remember being fascinated with the lightning fast rapidity at which the words appeared on the page. As a small child, you may as well have pulled a rabbit out of a hat before my eyes. It truly felt like magic. I can't quite find the words to capture it. But to be able to instantly create something with a press of my finger was indescribably amazing.


Q: What about typewriters do you love so much?

A: I'll start by saying there's really no one reason. I love so many things about them. And I know I'll forget some here. So, I'll just go ahead and let that worry of trying to capture all the reasons perfectly melt away...and name a few off the top of my head. Despite my first encounter being with an electric typewriter, my favorites are the manuals. Why? You don't need electricity. No batteries can die on you. No charging time needed. You can create wherever you are, no matter what time it is. Typewriters are magic to me. They are pure creative energy, and echo the era in which they were built. For example, a 1950's typewriter sings the song of its industrious, sturdy time. You can truly feel nostalgia roll off of any machine...whether you lived during that time or not. They are wonderful time machines, and such a breath of fresh air. No notifications of any kind popping up while you're trying to write or think. No "spell check" to distract you. They are an experience in and of themselves.


Q: Do you have a personal collection of typewriters?


A: Absolutely.


Q: If so, is there one that you use?


A: I use several. It really just depends on my mood. My current favorite, despite owning over 100 at the moment, is my champagne Sears Tower Tabulator. It is a rebranded Smith - Corona. Everyone has their own favorites. Generally, these reasons are so hard to explain. This one, I just feel connected to.


Q: Was it always your dream to run a business focusing around typewriters?


A: No, it actually kind of just...happened. I love them. And love the experience they provide, and the exquisite escape from the day to day of being connected to the computer/phone. I wanted to be able to provide that experience to others. I began selling locally, and eventually expanded online. It's been wonderful.


Q: Tell us about your business overall. When did you start it?


A: For the last few years I have sold them locally in my spare time. I decided a few months ago to step into the internet arena with my typewriters, and the feedback has been more than I could've ever hoped for.


Q: How did you get into this business?


A: In addition to wanting to provide this experience to others as mentioned above, I suppose it truly began one day when I'd posted a few particularly beautiful typewriters I'd found on my personal social media. I had no intention of selling them. However, the local interest in them surprised me. It made me so excited to be able to show someone else how to use a typewriter, and/or provide them with one. I ended up selling all those I'd posted locally after cleaning and servicing them. Some I even showed how to use on tailgates in Wal-Mart parking lots. Watching people's eyes begin to glow while they interacted with the new typewriters has been something that keeps me motivated. I love being able to pass that feeling on.


Q: Tell us about the product(s) you sell.


A: I sell working typewriters that have been fully serviced, deep cleaned, and some even customized. I also sell other various vintage machines and leather goods. For example: vintage check writing machines and adding machines. As far as leather goods go, I hunt around and select quality leather/misc material bags and cases for people's typewriters and other items. Most of my typewriters come with their original cases. But even still, some people enjoy a supple leather bag/briefcase.


Q: How do you acquire your typewriters?


A: Whew. How don't I? Haha. A variety of sources. Now that it is well known that I collect/sell them, I have a ton of friends and family that keep their eyes open all over the south for me. Flea markets, antique stores, estate sales, garage sales, classifieds listed on a whole host of platforms...it really is all over the place.


Q: What do your friends and family think about your business?


A: The first reaction I got was, "Wait... what?" But that quickly evolved into, "That's so cool!"


Q: What would you say to someone who is curious about typewriters, but has never been exposed to one?


A: Hold my beer while I go get one for you. Just kidding. But seriously. If it were an option, I would love the typewriter to just speak for itself in terms of why they need one.


Q: With technology as advanced as it is today, how would you argue the benefits of owning a typewriter, outside of collecting them?


A: While technology has advanced since the golden age of the Typewriter, it is still not infallible. Typewriters still carry several advantages. As a matter of fact, some law enforcement agencies and other entities still use them today for their security. You can't infect them with a virus. You can't hack them. You also do not need electricity to wield them.


I could make various arguments for them all day long. But honestly, the benefits truly depend on the individual. Writers are another collective that love and benefit from them because they are so free of distractions.


I spare the world all the time from my own handwriting by using them, haha. Things don't lose that personal touch even though they are typewritten, as they often do with computers.


Q: How can people access your online store and contact you?


A: I do have a presence on various platforms, but I tend to be most active on my...

Instagram: @Unplugtypewriterco .

I can also be reached by email: unplugtypewriterco@gmail.com.

My Etsy shop is https://unplugtypewritershop.etsy.com.


However, I would say that about 98% of my orders occur outside of my online shop through private inquiries and commissioned pieces. So what is listed in my shop at any given moment, does not showcase my entire inventory.


 

To all of my typwriter enthusiasts out there, I hope you enjoyed this special ode to the typewriter and to those of you unsure about this unique love for this antiquated piece of machinery, welcome - there is always room for curisotiy here.

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