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We went to a typewriter shop in Philadelphia!

My new found fascination with typewriters is a bit unusual. I’m a computer-focused tech enthusiast and while I’ve always held a special place in my heart for the mechanical, it wasn’t until I had an old manual typewriter sitting on my desk every day that it blossomed into something a bit more. I don’t use it a ton, but it’s been fun to bond with my little kids over, both of whom love hitting the keys and seeing the result pop up on physical paper. My work repairing my Skyriter has been satisfying and fun, even if it can get a a bit tedious and frustrating too.

When we arrived at our vacation home in Philadelphia last week and I found myself without a typewriter at all, I felt a bit of sadness. But then I thought about it, surely there are typewriter stores in Philadelphia! Yep, there are two of them.

I decided to make plans to go to W.P.M. Typewriter Shop because I was charmed by their website and intrigued by their typewriter garden (which isn’t open until spring time, so we’ll have to go back when it’s warmer). Adam has been enjoying this typewriter journey with me, so the first Saturday we were in town I called ahead to make an appointment so we could explore the shop and get some help selecting a typewriter.

Shop owner Pamela Rogow was a delight to explore with. I admit my guidance to her was rather limited, but she knew where I was starting from and that I wanted something sturdy that Adam could type on. With that in mind we made our way through probably a dozen typewriters. I had my reservations about an electric typewriter, but we decided to try one since they are a lot easier to type on. She showed Adam around some of the keys and functions and then let him type away.

I actually would have liked this one a lot, and it would fit in with my crew of Smith-Corona typewriters. Alas, even though it was easy for Adam to use, the dull electronic buzz of it just being turned on annoyed him. Back to trying manuals!

She was incredibly patient as we made our way through the collection. We tried portables and standards, newer ones and older ones.

At one point, Adam decided it was his mission to locate and try every bell she had floating around the shop, which was pretty amusing. I’m glad he was having fun between typewriter demos.

I really wanted to be happier with one of the portables, but they were on the harder side for Adam to type on. He ended up being drawn to a wide-carriage 1946 Remington KMC with a ten-key tabulator, and once he decided upon this one, there was no dissuading him. This was our typewriter!

It’s really quite stunning, and a lot of fun to type on. As a reference point, it did set me back about $420 once we were all said and done with taxes, but this is what you’re going to have to expect for a professionally tended to manual typewriter. It was nice to learn that they also have a rent-to-own program that’s designed to allow people to try out a typewriter to see if they’ll use it, and bring it back if they decide it’s not for them. But this one is part of our life now, and I’ve quickly gotten the hang of it with the help of the Remington KMC Instructions, it’s great.