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My new favorite label-maker

For Christmas I bought myself something I had been wanting for a while: an old-school manual typewriter.

I found a Remington Quiet-Riter on Craigslist for $30. It was a little bit corroded but overall was in excellent shape. The seller said it had been in his family since the 50s and had never been used, and I believe him.

I started out with some basic cleaning. I set it on a sheet of newspaper to collect the gunk, and used a brush dipped in denatured alcohol to clean the works inside.

manual typewriter

The ribbon was original and clearly had never been used, but was dead nevertheless. An office supply store in the neighboring town luckily carried replacement manual typewriter ribbons.

(I say “luckily” because obviously you can order them from Amazon, but I did not want to wait.)

It has some quirks. There are two spots where the carriage sticks, and you have to hit backspace and then the spacebar to get past it. And there is significant ghosting of the letters on normal 20lb bond paper.

manual typewriter

The ghosting is better on a higher-quality 32lb bond paper, but still evident.

manual typewriter

But hey, I’m up and running.

I had one main use for the typewriter in mind, and I’ve had the thought for months now: yarn labels. I have a very lovely fountain pen, but the thing about fountain pens is that they do not improve your penmanship.

Sure, you can print out yarn labels on the computer, but this lacks panache.

Before typewriter:

manual typewriter

After typewriter:

manual typewriter

Also, now I can continue to write blog posts after the apocalypse.

(I wouldn’t really do that.)

(I might do that.)

9 comments to My new favorite label-maker

  • KellyS

    I learned to type on a similar typewriter. Manual and all that. Slightly electric, but I can’t recall how.
    tis cool

  • Northmoon

    What a darling typewriter. It looks brand new! Great find.

    You could aim higher than yarn labels though – like take up smoking, get a fedora and do an expose on a local corrupt politician or get a big bottle of red wine and start on a world changing novel.

    Trying to think how I can follow your blog after the apocalypse, do you think we should start working on carrier pigeons?

  • Yeah, a hand-written post-apocalypse blog would not cut it.

  • That is SWEET!
    Great idea for your yarn bands. I would steal that idea if I was making yarn….

  • You could type your blog posts, but you’d have to manually glue them to the internet. Better lay in a big stock of Elmers…
    I learned to type on a honkin’ big manual office machine. So big that I would have had trouble lifting it. The keys had to be punched really hard to register at all – after a couple of months of that typing class I could have poked my fingertips through plywood.

  • Dang! Now I need to add a manual typewriter to my emergency preparation stash! Move over, canned food, must be able to write post-apocalypse!! :)

  • Somebody already took my suggestion of carrier pigeons — too bad they are extinct — for your typewritten post-apocalypse blog posts.

  • Another Erika

    You’re now required to keep a bottle of rye in your bottom desk drawer.