My name is Jonathan Posey, and I am the host of Typewriter Talk, a podcast about all things typewriter from the people who use, repair, sell, and create with them.
In 1959, the Paillard company of Yverdon, Switzerland sold a lightweight, portable typewriter they called the Hermes Rocket. This advertisement from that same year shows it would cost $59.99, with only $5 down.
That doesn’t seem to bad in the 21st Century, but at the time, $59.99 was the equivalent to $524.62 today! That’s about the price of a lower end iPad. These were not just machines used to type college papers, typewriters were as integral to the office as the computer and smartphone are today. You could not continue to grow to be a business of size without a typewriter, and the companies that made them were the Apple and Microsoft of their day.
That Smith Corona Sterling was just sitting there for $10 and I thought “wow you don’t see one of those everyday!” So I bought it. Then another…and another… and before you know it I had forty of them laying around the house. Different manufacturers, styles, sizes, fonts, and countries of manufacturer. I found the mechanical action fascinating, and enjoyed learning how the machine operated.
In the Summer of 2018, while reading Tony Casillo’s book, Typewriters, I turned the page and found the Hammond Multiplex typewriter. Since then, I have been researching the life of its inventor, and everything I can about the machine and its rich history.
From there I lost most of my self control and dove head first into the world of really, really old typewriters. As I researched and learned more about them, I came across a lot of really amazing people along the way. I found that each had a story to tell, from starting a revolution, to making typewriters a full time job in the 21st Century.
The aim of Typewriter Talk to capture some of those stories, the knowledge built over decades of study and appreciation of these fine machines, so that others can learn and enjoy these mechanical wizards. So join me each week as I’m joined by the very people that continue to live, work, and enjoy the wonderful world of typewriters.