Let’s have a contest

by | Jan 22, 2014 | contest, IBM, typewriter shops | 7 comments

So, which of the typewriter shops we’ve seen look most intriguing to you?

Let’s have a contest. Write a little something about any shop that catches your eye. It can be a poem, a pithy description, a snippet of fiction … be creative. I’ll publish your entries on this blog, and republish the photos of the shops along with your text.

PrintKEG, a printing company in South Carolina, has offered to sponsor this contest. The three people who submit the most interesting entries, in my judgment, will each receive $50 credit toward PrintKEG products such as custom postcards, t-shirts, flyers, or stickers.

Send your entry to polt@xavier.edu by 11 pm US Eastern time on January 23. Preferably it will be typewritten, but it can also be handwritten or word processed. Make sure to say which shop your piece is about (the name of the shop is the name of the image, which you can see if you click on it and check the URL).

Meanwhile, here are a few thoughts on my experience of digitally touring the typewriter shops of America.

PS: This is my 250th typecast. Yay.

PPS: To make my point of view less simplistic, I should add that small businesses, including typewriter shops, that are the least bit savvy have taken advantage of the Internet to find new customers. Getting quirky individualists together is something the digital world can do very well.

PPPS: This is the Selectric I picked up at the thrift store a while ago. It’s balky—it tends to backspace without cause—and its fate is to go, along with some utterly defunct Selectrics, to a high school that’s going to use them in a production of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” I am in awe of people like Ted who can teach themselves how to fix one of these daunting machines!


  1. Ryan Adney

    I already have some ideas brewing! Looking forward to what everyone comes up with.

  2. Anonymous

    Only for American states I assume? ;-)

  3. Richard P

    Anyone is welcome to participate, but the rules are that you should refer to one of the American shops I've pictured.

  4. Rob Bowker

    Currently drawing a blank but I'll TRY to get something in. Well done on 250 and sticking with writingball.

  5. TonysVision

    Well, this is going to be great fun. Hopefully a bit of morning caffeine will wake my muse.

    I powerfully agree with the optimism in your PPS recognizing the value of modern technology in providing a virtual gathering place for quirky individuals. Without internet support it is unlikely that my Royal 10 would have been repaired a year ago, unlikely that I would have been able to connect with so many co-dependents who have supported my typewriter problem during this past year, and especially unlikely that we would have seen those wonderful smiles on the faces of the owners and others who gathered recently at California Typewriter in Berkeley.

  6. Anonymous

    The interwebs have allowed me to connect with other typsperians over the common love of typewriters. People constantly roll their eyes and ask why I enjoy typewriters so much. As the saying goes: If I have to explain, they wouldn't understand.

    Congrats on 250 posts. I truly can appreciate the effort involved. Thanks for all you do.


  7. Bill M

    Congratulations on 250!

    There are advantages to the internet.


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