Hey, what do you say I snap out of it and write a blog post already?
So here is the object of my affection, the heaviest thing I put into my cart at Goodwill a couple days ago (but don't hold that against it).
When I saw it, I had that rush of instant happy recognition, like when you run into a childhood friend you haven't seen in a couple decades. Your entire countenance changes. Bells ring.
I took a brief moment to moon over it there in the store aisle with my husband. He knew it was a great find too (super clean, no nicks or scratches, complete with original manual and brushes!).
Very soon, however, that giddy feeling dissolved into the next: This is too good to be true; let's load this baby up, pay, and haul ass! Fellow thrifter Vonlipi has a phrase for this kind of moment: Start the car!
Friends, allow me to introduce you to the Hermes 3000 typewriter from probably the mid-1960s. Mint green, mint condition.
I know this machine. I learned to type on this machine, i.e., one exactly like it. (I had thought all along it was an Olivetti, but when I saw this one, I recognized it instantly.) I know where everything is and how it all works. This is the one!
Okay, so I'm a bit of a dweeb. I taught myself to type one summer when I was in middle/junior high school (the things we did before the internet...). I set this baby up on my study desk in the corner of the bedroom, propped up my mom's 1950s typing manual, the kind that's hardbound at the top, and pounded away.
f f f space, j j j space...
I typed up stuff like these recipe cards. Dweeby and domestic. Qualities every middle schooler wants to cultivate.
Please forgive the typos (chortening?).
In high school, my guidance counselor asked what I wanted to be. Answer: A secretary. He thought I was aiming awfully low. Perhaps he was right. So I went to college, partied, and got a BA in Psychology with a minor in Office Administration. Then I went to work as a secretary.
My best friends are secretaries (admin assistants, legal assistants, paralegals, whatevs). They are some of the smartest people I know.
The Hermes 3000 is a Swiss-made typewriter. It weighs probably close to 30 pounds. I think the word "portable" is applied loosely. You wouldn't want to be lugging this baby up the Alps. Though if you did and managed to reach your secluded cabin without herniating a disc, you could type your novel with it, like Jack Keruoac did. His Hermes 3000 sold at auction for $22,500.
I mentioned yesterday that this makes the third vintage typewriter I've bought in a year. I think that makes it an official collection, at least until I decide to sell one or more of them. Here are the other machines I thrifted in 2010, each of which I love only slightly less than the aforementioned.
This is a Royal typewriter, and the model is called Parade. Made in the 1960s, I believe, in Holland.
Such a pretty blue. Well-made, solid, yet substantially lighter in weight.
If I were in the habit of naming typewriters, I might name this one Kate, after the woman who will have her own royal parade when she marries Prince William. Quite photogenic too, no?
Don't judge the next one by its cover.
The Olympia is a German-built tank of a typewriter. And yet it is a thing of beauty, in an Arnold Schwarzenegger kind of way.
Slightly intimidating, what with the military green metal and spit-shiny black keys.
Not to mention the upper body strength needed to heft it up onto the desk. Bench press this machine regularly and you can probably drop your gym membership. You will no longer be a girly-man.
You can read more about the Hermes 3000 and the Olympia HERE and HERE. I don't pretend to be an expert on typewriters.
I just think they're sexy.