Vintage Typewriters

Capri Kerr
12 min readJun 18, 2024

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Welcome to our roundup of the best vintage typewriters on the market. If you’re a lover of nostalgia, old-school aesthetics, or simply a collector of unique items, this article is for you. Discover the charm and allure of vintage typewriters as we explore their history, functionality, and the perfect models for your collection.

The Top 8 Best Vintage Typewriters

  1. Olivetti Lettera 25: Classic Antique Manual Typewriter — Experience the charm of a beautifully restored Olivetti Lettera 25 Manual Typewriter, perfect for your unique office or workspace, with clean, smooth action and an attractive case made in Spain.
  2. Retro Manual Typewriter for Writers and Vintage Lovers — Relive the nostalgia of vintage typography with the Maplefield Black Vintage Typewriter: a durable, portable, and easy-to-use manual typewriter perfect for modern writers and collectors.
  3. Revive Typing: We R Memory Keepers Black Typecast Typewriter — Embrace the nostalgia with the We R Memory Keepers Black Typecast Typewriter, featuring a retro design, unique ink colors, and a throwback crafting experience.
  4. Typecast Pink Manual Typewriter for Creative Projects — Add a touch of vintage charm to your creativity with the We R Memory Keepers Typecast Typewriter — Pink, featuring old-fashioned touches like the return bell and adjustable 4 line spacing.
  5. Royal Classic Manual Typewriter — Black — Experience the charm of a bygone era with the Royal 79104P Classic Manual Typewriter, offering a flexible typing experience, sturdy construction, and multiple color options for a truly authentic writing experience.
  6. We R Memory Keepers Mint Manual Typewriter — Revive your craft projects with the vintage Throwback Typecast Mint Typewriter, featuring an authentic old-fashioned return bell sound, 4 line spacing options, and a set of colorful ink ribbons.
  7. Royal 79106B Classic Blue Vintage Typewriter — Dive into the past with the sturdy and portable Royal 79106B Classic manual typewriter, featuring a vintage blue exterior, 88 characters, and a wide 11 in. carriage, perfect for on-the-go authors who love the retro look and feel!
  8. Red Vintage Portable Manual Typewriter — Introducing the Red Vintage Typewriter: a nostalgic and functional piece of art that combines old-school charm with modern practicality, offering an unparalleled writing experience and a touch of vintage elegance to any workspace.

As an Amazon Affiliate I receive compensation from qualified purchases at no cost to you.

Reviews

Olivetti Lettera 25: Classic Antique Manual Typewriter

I’ve been using the Olivetti Lettera 25 Manual Typewriter as my go-to for daily writing tasks, and I must say, it’s been a delight. The moment I opened the box, I was drawn in by its classic design and the nostalgic feel it gave off. As I began typing away, I couldn’t help but appreciate how smooth and strong the action was, not to mention how swiftly it produced words on paper.

One thing that really stood out to me was the typewriter’s build quality. After being cleaned, serviced, and adjusted to factory specs, it’s clear that countless hours of care were poured into this machine. It’s a testament to Olivetti’s commitment to quality, and it shows in the precision of the keys and the responsiveness of the typewriter.

That being said, I did notice a few minor drawbacks. The case, while sturdy and sound, has some signs of wear due to its age. The discoloration adds a sense of charm, but it might not be ideal for those who prefer a pristine appearance. Additionally, the fact that it’s a manual typewriter means it may not be as convenient as its electronic counterparts for certain users.

Overall, the Olivetti Lettera 25 Manual Typewriter is a reliable and efficient writing companion. Its perfect working condition, combined with its classic aesthetics, makes it a standout choice for anyone looking to rediscover the tactile pleasures of manual typing.

Retro Manual Typewriter for Writers and Vintage Lovers

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When I first got my hands on the Maplefield Black Vintage Typewriter, I was instantly drawn to its classic design. The manual typewriter felt solid and sturdy, perfect for everyday typing. What stood out to me was its full keyboard, complete with an automatic space key and impression regulator — features that made typing a breeze.

The typewriter was not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing. Its durable design looked flawless on my desk, reminding me of the vintage typewriters I’d seen in old movies. I loved how it could effortlessly switch between black, red, and blue, adding a touch of elegance to any room.

Despite being a manual typewriter, it was easy to use for those who were new to it. It was a great gift for writers, creators, and vintage lovers alike. One of the best things about this typewriter was that it could be stored almost anywhere in the house, thanks to its sleek design and low profile.

In the end, I found the Maplefield Black Vintage Typewriter to be an excellent companion for anyone seeking a nostalgic flow, whether it was for writing a novel in the jungle or creating a masterpiece in the mountains.

Revive Typing: We R Memory Keepers Black Typecast Typewriter

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Transport yourself back in time with We R Memory Keepers’ Black Typecast Typewriter. This stunning throwback offers a timeless touch to any craft project or thoughtful correspondence.

The 17.75in x 16in x 18cm package comes with a Typecast Typewriter featuring unique ink colors available separately and a mix-and-match ink ribbon option. For even greater customization, enjoy four line spacing options, a 30cm paper feed, and a 30cm x 36cm footprint.

The 19.48in x 7.8in x 15.6in size is a true treasure for any enthusiast of old-school typewriters.

Typecast Pink Manual Typewriter for Creative Projects

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My recent encounter with the Typecast Typewriter in Pink brought back memories of my old manual typewriter days. Though smaller in size, it still managed to maintain the essence of the classic typing machine. As a scrapbook enthusiast, I often find myself longing for a retro touch to my projects. However, the plasticy feel of the case and the occasional feeding issue with smaller pieces of paper left a somewhat unsatisfied experience.

The feature I enjoyed the most was the ability to set the ribbon color. I loved the look of the mixed red and black ink on my 12x12 paper inserts. The return bell sound also added a touch of nostalgia. However, I was disappointed by the plastic build and the inability to handle small, intricate pieces of paper. In a warm climate, the case, especially the external one, may warp or crack.

Overall, the Typecast Typewriter in Pink is a fun throwback to the old manual typewriters with a few drawbacks. It might be worth a try if you’re looking for a vintage touch to your scrapbooking projects or if you love the idea of an old-school typewriter. Just be aware that it might not stand up to the performance of the classic metal machines.

Royal Classic Manual Typewriter — Black

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Step back in time with the Royal Classic Manual Typewriter, a vintage machine that provides you with the tactile typing experience of long ago. With 44 keys and 88 characters, this typewriter lets you write that letter to your great-grandmother or compose the next great novel.

Write in Pica 87 font on black and red ink paper, and never worry about your pages flying away with a built-in support bar. The sturdy metal housing ensures durability, but make sure to keep your typewriter away from dust and sunlight for optimal performance. The included storage case makes transportation and storage a breeze.

Write letters, compose messages, and express your creativity like never before with the Royal Classic Manual Typewriter.

We R Memory Keepers Mint Manual Typewriter

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As a scrapbooking enthusiast, I’ve always been on the lookout for unique tools to elevate my projects. When I stumbled upon the We R Memory Keepers Typecast Typewriter, I was drawn to its vintage charm and the nostalgia it brought back. This mint-colored throwback takes you back in time to the classic typewriters of yesteryear, providing the perfect element for creating a one-of-a-kind craft.

The webbed ribbon has an old-fashioned “return bell” that emits a charming sound as you advance to the next line. The four-line spacing option and margin and tab settings make it an incredibly versatile tool for various scrapbooking applications. Additionally, the ability to select your preferred color ribbon adds a personal touch, allowing you to express your creativity through the ink you use.

While this retro-inspired typewriter has its quirks, it’s these quirks that remind you of the rich history of typography. It’s worth mentioning that sometimes the keys may stick, and aligning your text may require a bit of effort. However, the benefits of incorporating this beautiful tool into your scrapbooking projects far outweigh these minor drawbacks.

Overall, the Typecast Typewriter by We R Memory Keepers is a fantastic addition to any craft enthusiast’s collection. It adds a unique charm and vintage touch to your scrapbooking creations, and the nostalgia it brings is truly invaluable. Whether you’re embarking on a new project or enhancing an existing one, this typewriter is sure to be a conversation starter and a source of excitement for all your scrapbooking friends.

Royal 79106B Classic Blue Vintage Typewriter

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As a writer, I have always appreciated the simplicity of manual typewriters, and the Royal 79106B Classic is a fantastic addition to my collection. Its sturdy retro metal housing oozes of durability and class, making me feel like a true wordsmith. The pre-installed black/red ribbon adds a touch of vintage charm, while the full-size keyboard with 44 keys and 88 symbols ensures easy typing and a consistent font throughout.

However, the Royal 79106B Classic is not without its flaws. While its wide 11-inch carriage is perfect for lengthy articles, it requires extra desk space, which might not be ideal in cramped writing spaces. Additionally, the absence of an autotype feature can make it more challenging for less experienced typists, but for seasoned writers, this is a welcome journey back to the fundamentals of writing.

In conclusion, the Royal 79106B Classic is a beautiful, classic typewriter that transports you back to a simpler time. Whether you’re a retro aesthete or just appreciate the tangible satisfaction of manual typing, this typewriter will not disappoint.

Red Vintage Portable Manual Typewriter

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Nostalgia meets functionality with Maplefield’s fabulous Manual Typewriter Machine. This vintage, portable typewriter invites you to step back in time and savor the tactile pleasures of traditional writing. Its old-school charm is the perfect addition to any office or home, while its practicality makes it a great gift for writers of all ages.

Maplefield’s typewriter, crafted with meticulous attention to detail, seamlessly blends vintage elegance with modern convenience. Its unique design combines the beauty of nostalgia with the efficiency of today’s technology. Whether you’re looking for a functional writing tool or a statement piece for your desk, this vintage typewriter is sure to impress.

Buyer’s Guide

Welcome to the vintage typewriter buyer’s guide. In this section, we will discuss the essential features to consider, potential factors to weigh, and valuable advice to assist you in making an informed decision when purchasing a vintage typewriter.

Considerations Before Purchase

Before diving into the world of vintage typewriters, there are a few essential factors to consider. These factors will help you decide which typewriter is the best fit for your needs and preferences. Some considerations include:

  1. Typewriter condition and age, 2) Typeface and font styles, 3) Keyboard action, and 4) Compatibility with modern technology.

Typewriter Condition and Age

When purchasing a vintage typewriter, you should assess its condition and age. Factors such as the typewriter’s overall appearance, rust, and wear can signify its age and usage. Generally, older models might offer a more authentic typing experience, but they could also be less reliable or difficult to maintain. Younger models might be in better condition but could lack the vintage charm.

Typeface and Font Styles

Typeface and font styles are crucial aspects when selecting a vintage typewriter. You can find various font styles and designs, such as serif, sans-serif, or script, among others. Consider the style you prefer, as well as its readability and compatibility with your projects. Additionally, older typewriters often have fewer font choices, while newer models might have custom font options.

Keyboard Action

The keyboard action in a vintage typewriter is an essential aspect to consider. The feel and responsiveness of the keys can significantly influence your typing experience. A smooth, tactile keyboard action might provide a more comfortable typing experience, while a stiffer or noisier keyboard might take some time to adjust to. Test typing on the typewriter if possible to ensure a comfortable fit.

FAQ

What makes a typewriter considered “vintage”?

A vintage typewriter is generally considered to be one that was manufactured prior to the 1970s, when the use of electric and electronic typewriters began to become more widespread. These machines often have a unique aesthetic, with classic designs and materials like metal and wood, and may feature special features like manual typebars or carriage returns.

Vintage typewriters have become popular among writers, hobbyists, and collectors for their nostalgic appeal and the tactile experience of typing on a manual machine. Many people appreciate the slower pace and more focused, intentional process of typing on a vintage typewriter as opposed to the speed and convenience of modern digital devices.

How do I know if a typewriter is in good working condition before purchasing?

Before purchasing a vintage typewriter, it’s essential to evaluate its working condition. Some essential factors to consider include the overall cleanliness and the absence of rust, corrosion, or other signs of wear and tear. The ribbon should be in good condition, with no visible tearing or damage, as it’s responsible for printing the characters on the paper.

Additionally, test the typewriter by typing a few words to ensure that the keys are responsive and function correctly. Check for proper spacing, alignment, and the ability to backspace and carry return. If necessary, clean or replace the ribbon, as they can wear out over time and affect the typewriter’s performance.

What types of vintage typewriters are available in the market?

There are several popular types of vintage typewriters available in the market, each with its own unique features and characteristics. Some common examples include manual manual underbar typewriters, portable manual underbar typewriters, and electric typewriters. Some popular brands include Royal, Olympia, Corona, Smith Corona, Underwood, and Remington.

These machines can be found in a variety of styles and materials, such as metal, wood, and plastic. Some vintage typewriters come with special features like multiple font sizes, shift keys, and various color options for the inked ribbon. Researching different models and brands can help you find the perfect vintage typewriter that suits your needs and preferences.

How do I clean and maintain a vintage typewriter?

Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential to ensure the longevity and proper functioning of a vintage typewriter. Start by cleaning the exterior of the machine, using a soft-bristled brush or a gentle cloth to remove any dust, dirt, or debris. Be sure to avoid using water or moisture-based cleaners, as this can damage the metal or wooden components over time.

Inside the typewriter, remove the ribbon and give the platen, typebars, and other components a thorough cleaning to remove any built-up dirt, dust, or debris. This can be done using a soft brush or cloth, taking care not to damage the delicate parts. If necessary, replace the ribbon with a new one to ensure proper printing. Regular maintenance and cleaning can keep your vintage typewriter in good working condition and extend its life.

Are vintage typewriters still relevant today?

Despite the widespread use of digital devices and word processors, vintage typewriters remain relevant and popular among enthusiasts, hobbyists, and professionals. Many people appreciate the tactile experience, the unique aesthetic, and the slower pace that a vintage typewriter provides, creating a more focused and intentional approach to writing.

Additionally, vintage typewriters can be used as a backup device in case of power outages or other technology failures. They also make excellent collector’s items, as many people enjoy the nostalgia and craftsmanship that goes into manufacturing these machines. The continued popularity of vintage typewriters is a testament to their enduring appeal and functionality.

Where can I buy a vintage typewriter?

Vintage typewriters can be found in a variety of places, both online and in physical stores. Some popular online marketplaces include eBay, Etsy, and various vintage and antique shops on platforms like Amazon. Local thrift stores, antique shops, and estate sales may also offer vintage typewriters at reasonable prices.

When purchasing a vintage typewriter, be sure to research the seller’s reputation, read customer reviews, and inspect the item closely before making a purchase. It’s also important to ask questions about the typewriter’s condition and any potential issues that may need addressing after purchase. With a little patience and research, you can find the perfect vintage typewriter to suit your needs and preferences.

As an Amazon Affiliate I receive compensation from qualified purchases at no cost to you.

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