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View Full Version : Where can I find a TYPEWRITER these days?


Roboto
02-20-2007, 02:16 PM
I have some government forms I need to type on for work, but cannot for the life of me find a place where I can use a typewriter! Aside from these forms, I have no use for a typerwriter, and therefore have no interest in buying one just for this form.

Where can I go to use a typewriter for 20 minutes? Kinkos doesn't have any, and neither does the public library.

Any ideas? I never thought in a million years that I would have trouble finding access to a typewriter.

Sunspace
02-20-2007, 02:19 PM
Where can you find a what?






:: d&r ::

Annie-Xmas
02-20-2007, 02:20 PM
Well, I have one sitting at my elbow.... :D

Seriously, try calling a business machine repair place and see if they will let you use one of theirs or know of a place that will.

XJETGIRLX
02-20-2007, 02:24 PM
Your local Goodwill or similar should have some. Take the forms with you and if anyone asks just tell them you wanted to test them to see if they worked. Or, you could buy it outright (I got an Olivetti manual typewriter at Goodwill for $3) and then donate it again when you're done.

Mr. Excellent
02-20-2007, 02:26 PM
Your old university's career center will have on, for exactly this purpose. They'll let you use it for free, too. Of course, if you're not near your old school, that doesn't help much.

Si Amigo
02-20-2007, 02:26 PM
Yard sale, Goodwill, curbside trash . . .

Exapno Mapcase
02-20-2007, 02:38 PM
The public library?

Every year I have to do tax forms just like you. Every large suburban public library in the area has an electric typewriter that you can just walk in and use. If your one particular local library doesn't, start calling around. You're in a metro area of nine million people. There must be hundreds of public libraries.

gotpasswords
02-20-2007, 02:43 PM
If you think you'll have recurring need for one, keep an eye on craigslist.

About a year or two ago, we had a hell of a time giving away an IBM Correcting Selectric II in perfect condition with extra ribbons and correction tape. It took two weeks on the free board at craigslist before someone expressed interest.

The dirty old ceiling fan was claimed within an hour of listing, but nobody wants a typewriter any more.

Mr. Moto
02-20-2007, 02:46 PM
There's a good reason for that, too.

If it is a form you will need to fill in often for work, why don't you scan them in and then use a computer to fill in the forms?

Doctor Who
02-20-2007, 02:46 PM
Your old university's career center will have on, for exactly this purpose. They'll let you use it for free, too. Of course, if you're not near your old school, that doesn't help much.
Yeah - I'd go to any nearby university's career center and plead my case. I'm sure they'd let you use the typewriter for 10 or 15 minutes if you look pitiful enough.

Sonia Montdore
02-20-2007, 02:49 PM
The Vermont Country Store http://vermontcountrystore.com sells two typewriter models, one electric and the other manual.

Annie-Xmas
02-20-2007, 02:51 PM
Try calling a few offices and offer to pay to have someone type it for you. I work in a small real estate office, and when I have the time I will type anything for anyone willing to pay me.

FatBaldGuy
02-20-2007, 02:55 PM
Try calling a few offices and offer to pay to have someone type it for you. I work in a small real estate office, and when I have the time I will type anything for anyone willing to pay me.Yes, but not that many offices use typewriters any more either.

To the OP. Is it possible to obtain the forms in PDF format, or to scan them into your word processor and edit/print them from there?

Quiddity Glomfuster
02-20-2007, 03:06 PM
What kind of loon job government would still be producing forms that need to be typewritten? Can you not just print hard in ballpoint?

Kevbo
02-20-2007, 03:06 PM
ebay.

Zsofia
02-20-2007, 03:28 PM
I'm a public librarian. We just got rid of ours. Too much trouble to keep 'em running, and we had other things we could be doing with the space. Many other libraries are doing the same.

Duckster
02-20-2007, 05:21 PM
So what I hear people saying is the old typewriter lost its job by being typecast?

:D

TV time
02-20-2007, 06:38 PM
Pawn shop will sell you one real cheap I bet, but try it out first.

Ignatz
02-20-2007, 08:13 PM
I have some government forms I need to type on for work, but cannot for the life of me find a place where I can use a typewriter! Aside from these forms, I have no use for a typerwriter, and therefore have no interest in buying one just for this form.

Where can I go to use a typewriter for 20 minutes? Kinkos doesn't have any, and neither does the public library.

Any ideas? I never thought in a million years that I would have trouble finding access to a typewriter.

I have a portable manual, Webster XL-500, made by Bic in Nagoya, Japan, and bought 2/1/68 from Fingerhut for $69.95. It has all the instruction manuals and a "Ribbon Privilege Card" "which entitles you to a 2-color portable typewriter ribbon. There is no charge beyond $ .45 to cover cost of handling and shipping. Each ribbon card ordered will include another privilege card, giving you a continuous supply."

The ribbon may have dried out but I see I can get replacements for 45 cents. I'm 2,554 miles east of Barstow so cannot help you with it. I want to keep it a while longer until it's more of an antique.

Oh, it also has a sheet of carbon paper with it. For you youngsters, that is a sheet of thin paper coated on one side with a thin layer of dark blue or black powder. When the typist wants to make a copy of the original document being typed, s/he inserts the carbon paper between the original sheet of paper and a second sheet of paper, usually a thinner sheet, such as tissue paper, with the powder side down, and inserts the three sandwiched sheets into the platen and starts typing. With each key strike, the dark powder transfers from the carbon paper to the underneath sheet et voilâ, you have a second copy. Wasn't that easy?

scotandrsn
02-20-2007, 08:27 PM
What amazes me is that both Brother (http://brother-usa.com/typewriters/productindex.aspx) and Smith-Corona (http://officeworld.com/Worlds-Biggest-Selection/1420/07Q1/) still market several models of typewriters.

Actually, I did this same check a couple of years ago, and each company had only one or two models. Now each has a fairly large number.

Are typewriters staging a comeback?

anson2995
02-20-2007, 08:31 PM
I know the OP says he doesn't want to buy one, but for others who might be so inclined, I'll second the suggestion to look at thrift stores. Ebay has a ton, but shipping, especially on the older ones, can run upwards of $20 bucks.

glee
02-20-2007, 08:36 PM
Oh, it also has a sheet of carbon paper with it. For you youngsters, that is a sheet of thin paper coated on one side with a thin layer of dark blue or black powder. When the typist wants to make a copy of the original document being typed, s/he inserts the carbon paper between the original sheet of paper and a second sheet of paper, usually a thinner sheet, such as tissue paper, with the powder side down, and inserts the three sandwiched sheets into the platen and starts typing. With each key strike, the dark powder transfers from the carbon paper to the underneath sheet et voilâ, you have a second copy. Wasn't that easy?

I still remember the 'thrill' of using typewriter correction fluid. :smack:
Also if only there was some way to avoid retyping the entire document to insert a paragraph. :confused:
Or keep a record of keystrokes, so you could produce a slightly different version next year... :rolleyes:

Max Torque
02-21-2007, 11:21 AM
I still have a Brother portable typewriter tucked away under the bed in our spare bedroom. It doesn't come out often, but I did use it just last fall for filling out some government documents (not the US government, the Chinese government; I figured I'd better type for maximum readability).

It's a decent enough model. Mostly electronic, built-in dictionary, three text widths (10, 12, or 15), can do line-by-line and autocorrect and all that jazz, and the ribbon never dries out. On the downside, it's very plastic, very lightweight, and feels kinda like a toy. But, it gets the job done.

Brother appears to still make models like mine. Brand new, they go for under $100.

brianmelendez
02-21-2007, 01:28 PM
ebay.Yep. For my high-school graduation, 25 years ago, my parents gave me a brand-new IBM Selectric II. I keep it at work, and still use it daily, for forms, custom-sized envelopes, and anything else that doesn't run easily through a printer. (BTW, most secretarial work stations in my company still have a typewriter nearby, although they don't get used very much.)

A few years ago, I bought a matching typewriter on eBay, which I keep at home. And last year, I bought one for a volunteer organization where I use an office one day a week. You can find fully reconditioned Selectrics on eBay for about $100 to $200.

vivalostwages
02-21-2007, 01:57 PM
The Vermont Country Store http://vermontcountrystore.com sells two typewriter models, one electric and the other manual.

Ah, I was just about to mention that one. Seventh Avenue might carry such a thing as well, since they also have turntables. Just makes sense that they may have typewriters.

elmwood
02-21-2007, 02:09 PM
Typewriter repair stores. Really, they're still around.

robcaro
02-21-2007, 02:25 PM
Try your local pawn shops. Perhaps they have one or two or three...

Schnookered
02-21-2007, 03:18 PM
I think I may have been filling out those same forms a couple of years ago (tax forms for freelancers, perhaps?). I hand wrote them. So far, no problems with having done so.

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