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For some reason, I’ve had my eye out for a typewriter. I have no personal connection to them other than an appreciation for their impressively spindly typebars and those who untangled them on a daily basis. Emily stopped by a barn sale on her way to Dallas last Christmas break and found this filth-covered beauty. I almost said no, but the price was right for my level of interest. She brought it down and we transferred it from her trunk to mine….and there it stayed for 8 months! (I am so ashamed) This was, quite simply, a case of mind over matter. You see, I live in a loft that is quite far from the elevator, which is quite far from the parking lot. My mind was saying “it’s too heavy, and you know nothing about it!” – so I listened and let it continue to age in my trunk. (By the way, I’m certain my gas mileage got better once I removed the additional drag!)

I recruited the hubs to bring the typewriter in, and was delightfully surprised at how quickly I was able to get it presentable! Start to finish, it only took about 2 hours.

The supplies for this project were few:

  • Can of air (found at office supply stores)
  • Paintbrush (for nooks and crannies)
  • Flashlight (for nooks and crannies)
  • Vacuum (for whatever was in there)
  • Warm soapy water and a rag
  • Can of Gosling’s Ginger Beer (like ginger ale but tastier!)

After vacuuming out as much of the dried leaves, dust bunnies, and other unmentionables…

I used the paintbrush to attack the stubborn bits.

Then I used the canned air to loosen any stuck muck, and used the paintbrush again.

Last, I used the rag and water to clean things off:

I found the most interesting painted details:

Unfortunately, this typewriter’s rural adventures left it non-functioning. Nevertheless, this is a great piece of history and it cleaned up quite well!

I do have the original ribbons, which I’ve rolled and pinned, and will display on my “smalls” shelf.Due to the open body and four rows of keys, I believe this to be from the 1930s. I can’t find a serial number, but I’m not sure where to look for one! (Do you?) The typewriter has a new home in my home office, where it will be a conversation piece – and a great reminder of my appreciation for technology!

~Lainey