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A visit to TB Writers Plus

by | May 15, 2024 | typewriter shops | 6 comments

I’m currently in the middle of a four-day writing retreat generously sponsored by Xavier Universty. They house 35 faculty at a Marianist retreat center in suburban Dayton, Ohio, feed us, and give us time to write. Of course, I brought my Remington Noiseless no. 7, and it’s been doing good work for me.

But I had to interrupt my typing and take the opportunity to visit TB Writers Plus, a thriving young typewriter repair business created by the enterprising Trevor Brumfield. Trevor is an auto mechanic who discovered typewriters only four years ago. When he hosted a type-in last October, he was repairing typewriters from his garage. Since then, he has rented a large space in a historic building, done thorough research on the typewriter repair business, purchased tons of parts and equipment, hired two helpers, and attracted customers from around the country. He is a hardworking, methodical, dedicated guy who is in this for the long run. And his wife, Becca, is a great help!

TB is housed in the Davis-Linden Building, built in 1889 as the Davis Sewing Machine Company factory. The company also began building bicycles in the 1890s. 

 

Looking up and seeing signs for typewriter repair—and typewriters themselves—gives you a strange thrill, as if you have just entered a story from Backspaces and traveled back into the heyday of typewriters.
Trevor gave me a tour of the building, which now houses a variety of creative businesses.
This wooden floor is indented where workers stood in front of machines over the decades.
The huge freight elevator is hydraulically powered and extremely quiet.

 

Trevor showed me the various areas of the business, which already has the delightfully crammed and complex atmosphere of a longtime typewriter shop. 
Typewriters from various decades await service or offer parts. A machine is usually serviced within a few weeks after it’s received.

 

These Smith-Coronas were recently cleaned.

 

The vault holds more customers’ machines.

 

The work tables are well-equipped and well-lit.
Trevor tells me about rescuing an unused platen from an old business. 

I was happy to see these parts cabinets that used to reside in my garage. They were given to me by the owner of a Cincinnati repair shop after it closed, and I gave them to Trevor last year.

 

On top of the cabinets is a film-winding device that Trevor has modified to wind typewriter ribbons.
One area of the shop features machines that are ready for sale, and a table where people can sit and try them out.
Trevor has studied the paperwork systems of typewriter manufacturers and shops. He uses a laptop as necessary, but also makes intelligent use of paper records, as a typewriter man really should.

 

Tyler, one of Trevor’s two employees, is a senior at Wright State University. He writes poetry, studies philosophy (we had a good talk about that), and creates a zine.
The folks in red from GLD Communications came in to film Trevor and Tyler for a TV spot. TB Writers Plus is getting some well-deserved publicity.

As I got ready to leave, a car from the 1940s casually turned the corner. My illusion of time travel was complete.

 

 

TB Writers Plus is located at 400 Linden Ave. in Dayton, Ohio. Make an appointment if you’d like to visit during the following hours.

Sunday 10AM – 10PM
Monday 7PM – 10PM
Tuesday 10AM – 10PM
Wednesday 7PM – 10PM
Thursday 7PM – 10PM
Friday 7PM – 10PM
Saturday 4:30PM – 10PM
 

 

6 Comments

  1. David Brechbiel

    The whole vibe of what Trevor, his wife, and employees have built harkens back to another era. I recently appreciated his rapid turnaround on a 1940 International (IBM) Electromatic and two pesky 3-bank Underwoods. He spent extra hours learning and repairing the Electromatic's Westinghouse motor, capacitors, etc. This boisterous, granddaddy of a beast will join other electrics in my collection. Thank you, Richard for such a fine nod to this new shop living in a by-gone era. If you are in Central Ohio – a visit is worth your time.

    Reply
  2. Gery Deer - GLD Communications

    I was fortunate that I happened to arrive during your (Richard's) visit to Trevor's shop. My media director, Julie, was with me as well and it was kind of you all to include us in your visit. I've used my Royal Safair manual since college, but I recently purchased a 1945 Smith-Corona Clipper from TB Writers Plus and it's been the perfect machine for my writing. The first time I visited the shop, I was impressed with how well organized it is – the chaos has an almost musical arrangement to it. I agree, the publicity is needed, and I'm happy to help how I can. We want to keep businesses like Trevor's up and running! Thanks again. (I look forward to the book!)

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    There are few things as happy-making as a brand-new Typewriter Shop! :D

    Reply
  4. Mary E

    Those beautiful parts cabinets have found a perfect home.

    Reply
  5. Bill M

    Wonderful old building, and it is great to see another typewriter shop in business.

    Reply

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