Monday, August 22, 2016

Vintage Typewriters as Decor Accessories (Part 2)

I’ve said this before and you will hear me saying this again……….the most positive aspect of blogging is meeting like-minded people (even if the connection is virtual.) It is more than rewarding to connect with people who share the same creative vision as you. Expanding on that I mean people who see the entire process of decorating ones home as more than putting together of pretty objects. They understand that a home should enrich one's everyday experience and thus surround themselves with things that they love and have meaning to them. One such wonderful soul is Meera D’souza. If I had to describe Meera’s décor style, it would be contemporary- nostalgic with a global-desi vibe. Meera’s home is filled with vintage treasures such as typewriters, vintage kitchen utensils, terracotta pottery, brass artifacts... and so much more. It was but natural that when I thought of putting together a feature on typewriters, she instantly came to mind. So I reached out to her and she very graciously obliged. And bingo, she had not one but three typewriters to share! So I decided to dedicate an entire feature to her wonderful collection. I’m going to let Meera take over from here and share her love for the typewriter….. 

I spy the typewriter......Here's a vignette to show you how Meera effortlessly incorporates vintage decor into her home
“My interest in typewriters is more recent. I think, the more I have lived away from India (20 years now), I yearn for the sights, smells and sounds that make me nostalgic for what was. The clanging of the keys, manual setting of margins, and the ringing of the bell when you press the carriage return key- brings back memories of the Xerox/ typing wallah.

Getting a paper typed as a student meant going to the Xerox/Typing wallah and paying up to Rs 1.25 per page. It meant the neatest of penmanship for the "rough copy" so it was clearly decipherable by the typist. It meant a quick walk to Hill Road where you received bids from the two stores next to each other. It required going back two-three times to check if your paper was complete. And because the process was so draining, it was never my favorite activity. I felt these gentleman with their typewriters could hold your entire class grade ransom if they did not work fast and accurately. I never really cared to know whether they were using a Remington or a Godrej or an electric typewriter. They just needed to type at a lightning speed of 120-140 wpm and make no errors.

LC Smith typewriter
However, when I first saw typewriter art- intricate pictures of icons and scenes using simple typewriter alphabets here in the US, I developed a fascination for them. The first one I acquired was an LC Smith typewriter. The lady selling it had opened a small store in the town where we lived. She even had the ribbons for them. It was wonderful hearing about her love for vintage items.

Vintage Children's typewriter
My second one was a vintage children's typewriter from an antique mall. I loved the colors and of course, the price. I was not sure if it would work. However, the gentleman at the store and I, tried various combinations to get it to work. In the end we did get it to work! It was the oddest thing- two strangers in a store, excited that they could figure out a small mechanical toy.
Blickensderfer typewriter
And finally for my newest acquisition – the Blickensderfer typewriter. I got it at a local sale. My eyes were drawn to the keyboard- which is not the usual QWERTY layout. The keyboard is considered scientific because it uses the most common letters on the home row- DHIATENSOR. I was disappointed to find it was a non-working typewriter- yet it looked in great condition. The owner stated that it had been working till the day before. So we made a deal- I would need about an hour to withdraw money from the ATM and if he managed to get it to work in that time, I would pay the price he had marked. If not, he would take a $100 off! An hour later, he had not had much luck. I resigned myself to the fact that this would not be a functional piece. I was having a hard time believing that it worked one day and stopped the next. So I came home and researched on-line manuals for the model, zoomed into all the mechanical drawings, and figured out how to get it to work!
I feel like I could go on collecting these beauties. Is 3 really a collection? Who knows. Until the next one catches my eye I am enjoying the conversation that occurs around these pieces when friends come over. Of course, I also enjoy styling them. I was so thrilled when Sruthi asked me to send a few pictures for this feature. One of my favorite bloggers, and a blog that has brought never-ending inspiration to me! Thank you Sruthi for showcasing my collection here on TECD.” 

Oh Meera, the pleasure was all mine! Thank you so very much for being such a sport and sharing well put together vignettes from your absolutely beautiful home !

As for you my lovely readers aren't you inspired by Meera's collection of vintage typewriters? I personally loved how the pieces add an old world vibe to the decor of her home. If you've been undecided about how to include vintage decor to your home, I'm sure our series on vintage decor has definitely solved that dilemma by now. So happy hunting for that one special find ! 

(Image Copyright /Credit: Meera D'Souza, The images may NOT be copied /used for commercial or non-commercial purposes without the prior written permission from Meera D'Souza and TECD)

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