Donovan is working on cleaning-up some typewriters for the upcoming Renegade Fair, but if you already have a machine that you think is beyond your skills, here are some repair shops that you may be able to take advantage of. (Yes, we'll have typewriters available for purchase at the fair!)
Thanks to member Else for sending in these typewriter repair shops located in Illinois and Indiana.
Independent Business Machines
1623 W. Montrose Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60613
(We have received reports that this is, sadly, closed.)
AH Office Products & Services 15713 Old Orchard Ct. 2 S Orland Park, IL 708-966-4575 ahofficeproducts.com
Wagner Office Machines 5610 S Pulaski Rd Chicago, IL 60629 773-581-4111
Crown Point Office Machines 6810 W 93rd Ave Crown Point, IN 46307 219-365-9800
Complete Office Equipment 10401 S Ridgeland Ave Chicago Ridge, IL 60415 708-346-9960
If you have any other shops you want to add to this list, let us know!
P.S. Always be sure to call first. Some of these places may have closed or may no longer be accepting machines for service.
If you didn't know already, I'm sort of obsessed with typewriters. I'm always looking for new ways to write with them. There are a lot of different machines out there and even though they might appear the same at first glance, I get a thrill everytime I find a slightly different font or design. I love the variety available in what some people would think was the same every time.
One of the things I've discovered that's out of the ordinary for typing is colored ribbons. Oh sure, there's black and there's also the black and the red. But did you know there was green, and orange, and pink and blue? Why, there's even purple ribbons out there! I first learned of colored ribbons from a Typecaster I follow. (Typecasters are people who blog by typing and then scanning in their typed entries.) He traded me a purple ribbon for some stamps way back when and gave me the information of a ribbon wholesaler.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to make heads or tails out of the wholesaler info and just went back to my regular ol' red/black beribboned life. But then, on the magic world of ebay, I noticed there are sellers of all sorts of colored ribbons.
They're all on "Buy It Now" and around $13 each, less if you buy in bulk. That's double what I normally pay for a regular ribbon, but I think it's worth it for glorious color. You can search for a ribbon for your particular machine, but most will take a standard 2" spool. All I did was search for "color typewriter ribbon".
As a reminder, I'm leading a typewriter cleaning and service workshop at the West Town Library tomorrow at 6:30PM. RSVP is required and there may not be any slots left. If there's enough demand, I may run the workshop again. Feel free to bring in your typewriter and I'll give it a look, but my skills are pretty basic.
P.S. And I happily announce the winner of our final giveaway. The winner of the Olive Box giveaway is comment number 18: Magdalena. Please email us your member number and address straightaway to claim your prize.
When we had our social at Pieritz Bros., the owner John had his video camera with him. Good fortune saw a visit by typewriter and vintage enthusiast Bradley Paul and he held an impromtu typewriter tour in addition to typewriter instruction for a young social attendee. Kathy and yours truly can be seen at the end of the video along with other L.W.A. members typing away. If you weren't there, take a look at what you missed. We plan to visit Pieritz Bros. again in the fall and hope to have an even more type-tastic time.
We will be having a typewriter cleaning workshop at the West Town library from 6:30-8PM on Thursday, July 11th. I'll show you how I clean up my machines and change a ribbon. It is FREE, but you must RSVP as there are limited slots available. You can R.S.V.P. at 312.743.0450 or register in person at West Town Library. 1625 W. Chicago Avenue Chicago, IL 60622
P.S. EDITED because of things moving around, et cetera. I promise Kathy will get those typewriters listed for sale soon.
We took our show on the road last weekend to the Mini Maker Faire in Urbana, IL. We took with us a flock of pigeons, a store of stationery and a brigade of typewriters. All these things combined to make us a hit success at the fair. Our booth was full of eager letter writers all day. A special thanks again to the Appleton Coated company for their sponsorship. The Conqueror paper they sent us is "like buttah" in the typewriters. I even went so far as to print it in color to mimick the MAKE magazine logo. It looked so nice that people could not believe we were giving it away for free. Jealous of all the fun these guys are having? Remember to join us at our next social for Atlas Obscura Day, tomorrow, Saturday the 28th, at the Read/Write Library. You can get your hands on some of that super nice Conqueror paper in a brand-new commemorative design for the day. A ticket is only required IF you want the special L.W.A. membership card. As always, we are hosting the social for free and donations to Read/Write Library are welcomed.
P.S. A little pigeon told me that this social is also an Elsewhere Philatellic Society stamp window. Please bring your passport to be stamped. Visas will also be available upon providing of an S.A.S.E.
From the industrious bloggers at Boingboing, comes this gingerbread typewriter. It is 100% edible; even the ribbon is made of rice paper. Made by the amazing Patti Page of Baked Ideas, this is definitely center piece worthy. Right on and Write on!
Thanks to everyone who came to the letterwriting workshop on Saturday! Thanks also to Chandra hosting the event in her shop Greer and for LWA member Isabel for being our event photographer. We had lots of fun talking about letters and typing along with all you, so much so we are planning a second event already. I've uploaded some photos from the day.
Donovan illustrated special letterhead for the event. Inspired by old hotel stationery, she sketched the Greer store front for the header. We gave the stationery and special buttons out to everyone who attended and two lucky people left with extra-special giveaway prizes.We are planning on doing this event again in January, complete with cocktails!
My boyfriend remarked the other day on how digital documents are designed to mimic real-world documents. For example, in Microsoft Word, when you type, your view is essentially that of an 8.5 X 11 piece of paper. Anyway, I happened across this project today as I was rummaging through the archives over at Uppercase. It's an Olivetti Lettera 22 typewriter which has been rewired to communicate with a computer so that the typing writes an e-mail message and when the paper is removed from the typewriter, the e-mail is sent. This blows my mind. But I also think, what if you want to write more than one page or how do you make corrections? Still, it's totally rad project. Personally, I like the idea of a hard copy e-mail which could then be actually mailed. Hmmmm.... Maybe that can be a new fun download!
In this era of instantaneous communication, a handwritten letter is a rare and wondrous item. The Letter Writers Alliance is dedicated to preserving this art form. Prepare your pen and paper, moisten your tongue, and get ready to write more letters!
May 28th (Thursday)
Chicago, IL Letter Social
Uncle Art Gallery 7-9pm 1359 N Maplewood Ave
Join us and our typewriters to write some letters together. We will have mail art supplies, stationery, and a few of our old-fangled typing machines available for your use. Free!
May 30th (Saturday)
Chicago, IL OBSCURA DAY 2015
L.W.A. Clubhouse Several time slots available
Enjoy exclusive access to the Letter Writers Alliance Club House in celebration of Obscura Day. You'll see the inner sanctum of operations for the letter writing organization and have an opportunity to write letters and postcards using vintage typewriters.
Your ticket includes free supplies and typewriter time. Donovan, the Letter Writers Alliance typewriter expert, will be on hand to answer questions, troubleshoot cranky machines and make pithy comments. Come join us and type a letter or two!
Tickets: $5 Purchase options available soon!
June 6th (Saturday)
Chicago, IL Postcard Party
606 Opening Celebration, 10am-6pm
Humboldt Blvd between Cortland & Wabansia
Write some postcards and explore the new Bloomingdale Trail with us. Free!
June 7th (Sunday)
Chicago, IL Mix & Mailology
L.W.A. Clubhouse 3:30-5pm
Old Fashions and Wax Seals, two old-timey things we love. Learn the secrets of mixing an excellent Old Fashion and making the perfect wax impression on your envelopes. We will also have other wax-like experiments for your mail art pleasure. Our solutions, both alcoholic and artistic, will surprise you. All materials, including liquid forms, will be provided.
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July 12th (Sunday)
World-Wide L.W.A. Book Club
Join Kathy, Donovan, and a special guest Margaret Haas (of Paper Pastries) via live video while we discuss Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn. Discussion and further info can be found on the Goodreads book group page. Event Page
The L.W.A. was established in 2007 by Kathy Zadrozny & Donovan Beeson. These two ladies manage every aspect of the Alliance, from design, to packing orders, to maintaining the website. The L.W.A. is a labor of love and we are happy you have joined us in sharing a love for letters.