JARRETT MOFFATT

THE

TAO OF

TYPEWRITERS.

THERE’S CLARITY IN THE CLICKITY CLACK


FROM: MIND

TO: PAPER

Every writer should own a typewriter. There’s no other experience like it. Yes you have to learn how to clean it, but have you ever spent time in a poorly-ventilated room with an open bottle of mineral spirits? It's awesome.


Besides sorting through ideas, I like using typewriters to write stream of consciousness letters: I put a piece of paper into the machine, gather my thoughts, and then blast off. It's a chaotic, enjoyable mess. If you'd like one, please send your mailing address and three things about you to jarrett@jarrettmoffatt.com.


T. HANKS

FOR THE

LETTERS

Tom Hanks is the patron saint of typewriters; as such, it's his cosmic duty to commune with other souls committed to sending thoughts through antiquated technology. Here's some thoughts he sent me. Tom bless us all.

ALL MY

TYPEWRITERS.

(Still searching for an Hermes 3000)

OLIVETTI STUDIO 44

Technically an Underwood-Olivetti (they merged in 1959), this 1960s Spanish-made typewriter is my go-to for filling pages of 28-lb paper with nonsense. Plus it’s absolutely gorgeous. Look at them curves.

UNDERWOOD 21

This was made in Canada sometime in the 60s. It’s the exact same guts as the Olivetti Studio 44, but it’s not nearly as nice to type on. What a beast though.

OLIVETTI DORA

I spray-painted this typewriter fluorescent green because it was grey and grey isn’t as cool as fluorescent green.

UNDERWOOD 378

Easily my favourite typewriter to bash away on. It's from the 80s, it's all plastic, and the body and case, which I didn't get in the picture, are a cool blue. If Fisher Price made a fully-functioning typewriter, this would be it.

SMITH-CORONA SILENT

I put money in a mailbox and ran away with this 1940s Smith-Corona Silent. It’s not perfect, but it’s hard to find typewriters this old in working condition, and this mostly works. One of the nicest typefaces out of all my typewriters… when the damn U isn’t sticking.

SMITH-CORONA

SUPER STERLING

This was an awesome find—so near-new I barely had to clean it. The typeface isn’t my favourite, but it feels great when you click clack. The only thing with this one is the bell doesn’t always go off, so I get caught mid word without being able to add a dope dash -