09 June 2014

Professor Remington's Rummage Sale & Type-In



After a long and very hard winter, our neighborhood was almost giddy this weekend. One the first Saturday of June we hold our giant, all-households rummage sale.  It was a most perfect day: sunny and with a slight breeze.

I had thought this might be a good time to move out a smaller portion of my typewriter collection; machines I don't use too often. And since typewriters are such a curious (and inexplicable!) thing to most folks, I decided that my alter ego, Professor Remington might need to make an encore appearance to explain and inspire (here was her first appearance).






I sorted through my machines. It was almost bittersweet. There is a core set of older machines which I love and use often. But even those I don't use as often, I had good memories of: of their finding, of the person who'd given them to me, even of the letters I'd written using them. (Yes, Typospherians can be a most sentimental lot.)  In the end, I culled about half for the sale, 12 machines in all.



I priced them from $10 to $80. I wasn't looking to make money but neither did I want to undervalue them. Plus, I wanted to make sure kids could afford some of them them since it always seems to be the younger ones who are most intrigued by these beasties.  The 1930s-era desktop LC Smith (from my 93 year-old Auntie B!) was priced highest. It needs a cleaning but, remarkably, everything works!




The event opened at 8am and there were people at my table from the very first moments!





The first sale of the day was to this gentleman, who already owns one machine. He likes to write with them, he said. He left with the Facit TP1.





Children were the most excited. It was especially fun when a Mom or Dad would take over showing them how the machines worked. They were so excited to share a bit of their past (and their know-how) with their kids.









One Dad bought a machine (an Underwood Leader) for his 12 year old daughter. "I don't know what it is," he said, "but she finds them fascinating!" Methinks this is one Dad who will be Number One Dad for awhile. I sure hope so! It was a very cool thing for him to do.

This lady and her children were very excited to get a family machine. (I am not sure who was more keen on it though, Mom or kids!)  We talked a long time about how to use it and I gave them a basic rundown on how to care for their new word-maker.  And they were very kind to let me take their picture.*




A few other families held mini type-ins as part of their day.





By mid-afternoon, a total of 6 machines had found new homes. Each buyer was formally welcomed into the Typospherian Community, provided with a 3-page handout on how to care and maintain their new machines, and given a Professor Remington business card.  A very good Saturday indeed.



 


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* NOTE: It is the policy of this blog not to post the faces of children unless their parent(s) have given me permission to do so.






15 comments:

  1. You've done a wonderful and generous thing, spreading the typewriter experience not only to those who bought some of your extras, but to all those who tried and enjoyed them. This has to be the neatest, most thoughtful yard sale ever!

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    1. Richard, my feet were absolutely killing me by the end of the day but I was grinning like crazy all the way until bedtime. ;-) It was a lot of fun.

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  2. Lovely idea - and did the LC Smith sell? Lovely machine. Also noticed you underpriced your '50s typewriter stand - these go for about $50 out here, more if they have swing-up extensions. Retro-industrial, you know. I've seen Uhl 'Art Steel' typewriter stands being offered for $650.on ebay. Now we just need to get you interested in Linotypes...

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    1. The LC Smith did not sell but I have been contacted by an interested buyer over in Madison. And underpricing is probably a regional thing. Here in Milwaukee the swing-up extension style typer tables are priced around $35. I suspect it's all in the eyes/wallet of the buyer, no? ;-)

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  3. That was a wonderful idea! You had some mighty nice looking typewriters for sale. It is even better that you introduced a few new people to the wornder world of typewriters. Very thoughtful and kind. I am sure everyone appreciated your efforts.

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    1. The "show table" was crowded all day. Even had kids waiting politely in line! I had fun and it seemed everyone else did too. ;-)

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  4. Congratulations for introducing more younglings to the ways of the typewriter!

    P.S. The first comment attempt was native iOS and it did not recognize "younglings" as a word and seized up. The Blogger app had no such difficulty and even suggested the spelling.

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    1. Younglings is so much "more" than "youngsters" - which always sounds condescending to me. ;-) I really love that the family of 4 bought it together! Would love to see how they have been playing with it since then.

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  5. It's nice to know not everyone's just out to make a fast buck. Wish I could have picked up a bargain myself.

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    1. Thanks! I've actually seen some pretty nice machines on shopgoodwill.com recently. Certainly more reasonably priced than eBay. And I hear they are usually pretty good about packaging them well for sending to the buyers.

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  6. That neighborhood looks lovely! How great that you can do a sale each year! It seems like every neighbor went onto the attic to find stuff and still had time to find new things to put back up there.

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    1. That's exactly what our upstairs neighbor was doing all through the day - though she was getting the stuff from her garage not the attic. So much so that we were using the front yard of our next door neighbor!

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  7. Wonderful magic event! Thank you so much for sharing it. From the other end of the typosphere, greetings!

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    1. I loved welcoming the buyers of my machines into the Typosphere too. ;-) I made sure to tell them about the Welcome to the Typosphere blog link on the Professor Remington biz card info I gave each of them.

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  8. I wish I was in your neighborhood! Looks tightly knit and friendly. I might have bought a couple of your machines :)

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