Nonagenarians in New Haven

by | May 4, 2013 | Uncategorized | 21 comments

Bust of Mark Twain

(I didn’t mention my list of typewriter repair shops.)

PS: Mr. Whitlock passed away on August 28, 2013 after an illness of about two months. 
Randall Beach of the New Haven Register reports that Whitlock wrote his own epitaph:
How many minutes? How many hours?
How many days or years?
How many miles? How many smiles?
How many laughs and tears?
Shall I leave here on earth and say ‘farewell’
and leave for a life unknown?
Heaven and hell don’t suit me well.
I’ll create a life of my own
Where the friends I have known, and have long since flown
Await me with open arms.
And the friends left behind will one day find
That no one is ever alone.


  1. notagain

    If only we could get all these guys in a room together to compare notes. Great post. Don't forget to include carrying comfort in your assessment of a traveling typer. Make sure you have confidence in the handle and that it doesn't dig into your fingers.

  2. Richard P

    Thanks, good point.

    Apparently the shoulder strap wasn't invented until 1983. I like to put my ultraportables in a padded laptop case with shoulder strap.

  3. shordzi

    What a remarkable post. Vivid pictures and excellent interview. Thank you so much.

  4. Scott K

    Such a great post.
    And that workshop is a thing of beauty.

  5. Anonymous

    94 and still at work. Amazing! Much respect to Mr Whitlock.

  6. Ton S.

    This is a great read, from the Aristocrat to Whitlock. Thanks, I really enjoyed it.

    I for one would choose Lettera 22 over any of the smaller portables. But that's really not news.

  7. Miguel Chávez

    Mr. Whitlock reminded me a lot of Mr. Pablo Caballero. Same understated elegance and unassumming knowledge.

  8. Will Davis

    Great look inside that shop — and it's grand of him to let you have those ribbons. An excellent post indeed!! Bravo.

  9. Ted

    It's almost like being there! Excellent post and you certainly had a wonderful time (:

  10. TonysVision

    Thanks very much, Richard, for sharing your visit with Mr. Whitlock and his shop. Indeed, the combination of your photos and his text made me feel like being there. I love it that he dresses for work as he always has. I can agree with his mention of Olympia as a quality machine. I have had mine (portable DeLux) since my junior year in high school, 1957, and it took me through graduate school without a hiccup, and I always enjoyed using it – it just felt good. Several times over the last few decades it was added to the donation pile during periodic attempts to thin out our rubble – thank goodness I had the sense to pull it out at the last minute. It still works well, a little creaking in the joints, perhaps, just like me, but I am sure Mr. Whitlock could put it right. Thanks again for the great post.

  11. Richard P

    Thanks, I'm glad you liked it. Here's to longlasting machines and human beings!

  12. Vikram

    Fantastic photos! So cool to hear about people who have lived through the heyday, decline, and revival of the typewriter.

  13. Bill M

    What a wonderful trip! I envy you for being able to visit Mr. Whitlock. He must be a really interesting person and his shop. I miss the fellows like him. I guess because most of my mentors were in their 70s when I was a teenager and young adult.

    I do not know anything about Heidegger, but I bet it would be wonderful if I did and got to attend a lecture by someone who know him in person. To me that would be like meeting Edwin Armstrong, Lee DeForest or someone who knew them or Thomas Edison (after all I am a radio head).

  14. Ryan Adney

    I saw Mr. Whitlock in the typewriter documentary and I thought he looked as a kindly soul should. It's also fantastic that he is keeping the little gray cells active well into his 90th year.

  15. Unknown

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. Unknown

    So glad you got the chance to meet Manson! A life full of stories and a man who knows how to tell them well. David McCullough remembered buying supplies at Whitlock's dept. store when he was a student at Yale.

  17. Unknown

    Up too late making typos. corrected version appears below.

  18. Alison D

    This sounds like a lovely visit. Thanks for posting it again for us to find.

  19. Richard P

    Thanks for checking it out. I was very glad I got to meet Mr. Whitlock.

  20. Tim

    I'm only just now reading this, thanks to a link from a later post. I was at the Yale School of Drama from 1986-89. I never had call to do business with him, but I remember walking past Whitlock's many times. Wonderful to read this piece about that little slice of history.


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