Tuesday, January 17, 2006

My newest find: a Hermes 2000 typewriter

Isn't it lovely? I love it!!!

I did a piece on the Beat Hotel, in Desert Hot Springs (www.dhsbeathotel.com) where there's a manual typewriter in every room and I began salivating for a manual. It's been years.

I love the sound, the look, everything. Of course it's slower, it's rustic, but that could be a good thing.

When Shelby Foote said he used a dip pen because it slowed him down, that resonated with me. I love fountain pens, too.

And last night, on the Golden Globe Awards, thanks to Elle Brooks (I wasn't watching; she was), I learned that Larry McMurtry thanked his Hermes 3000 for 30 years of words. (McMurtry only uses typewriters.)

Travis also loves the typewriter and has been writing up a storm since I got it two days ago.

He says, "I like it more than a computer because ... I don't know... you press the keys harder than a computer. I really don't know why. It's just more fun."


amy said...

Oh brother...I was trained in journalism on a typewriter. What a pain! I love computers. They liberated me. But, I did write some fine stuff, sometimes in a weird combo of black and red when the ribbon jammed.

~jolene said...

I do believe I have typewriter envy:::::::::!

Dana said...

We still have a 1951 Smith-Corona portable typewriter in perfect condition. It is stored away somewhere. Until I am able to type without fingers failing me, I shall use the computer which makes revision and editing both so much easier. But it looks like great fun for you and your family.

About the memoir case getting so much press: I don't know what to think of the book as I haven't read it. But as a long-time instructor of memoir-writing classes, among others, I do know that no one writes nothng but the truth in his or her memoir. Ask a sibling or good friend who also remembers your memoir incident to comment on your written version of it. My sister says we must not have lived in the same house, for example. But what I write now is the way it seems to me that it was for me. So I tell her to write her own "truth." Without real evidence, I'll just accept the author's word that what he wrote is how it seemed to him.

Perhaps one person's truth is always another's fiction.

Caroline said...

I failed typing in high school on a typewriter. The mere sound of the clackity-clack made me break out into a sweat, my fingers automatically cramping into the "start" position. I can still hear the old and raspy voice of the teacher yelling out key combinations...


I love my laptop, and I have a deep and abiding affection for my "Natural" keyboard, gently curving on my keyboard tray in front of me. Bliss is ergonomics and the Delete key in my world.

I am a self professed bad typer. I have to conciously think about what I type. yet, I can type faster than most. Sometimes I catch myself touch-typing, and then lose the momentum, having to swivel my gaze to my fingers.

But there is something about a typewriter that draws a writer in. The essential symbolism of it being a tool of conveyance, the way we get our thoughts down on paper. A typewriter always brings the name Ernest Hemingway to my mind, sitting in an alcove with palm trees shading the terracotta tiles, a cigarette and a half empty Scotch bottle on one side, creating.

Perhaps it is the classical viewpoint that provides the romance of a typewriter to write a novel. And a wonderful low-cost way to introduce the next generation to the world of wordcrafting. I am glad your son is enjoying, and I hope that it inspires not only his muse, but yours also!



Anonymous said...

I just bought a Hermes 2000 less than an hour ago. A friend scouted it out at a thrift store and told me about it. It's good, I just wish I could find more information about it on the net.

Antique-Architecture said...

What kind of replacement ribbons does the Hermes-2000 take and where do you buy them???

Anonymous said...

There's a typewriter group on Yahoo.com where I found a seller. Here you go:
Able Office machines
2538 SE 36th ave
Portland,Oregon 97202

3 Column Grid said...

Just stumbled across your blog... I just bought a Hermes 3000 and love it. Did yours come with a manual or anything? I'm trying to find one online for mine...

Anonymous said...

No, no manual, unfortunately. Are you familiar with that typewriter group on Yahoo? They may be able to help. Let me know if you need the URL.

Alissa said...

My grandparents just gave me their Hermes 3000 last night... I'm in love! Thanks for the info about where to get replacement ribbon! I'm typing up a storm over here, and will need some new ribbon soon!

GeorgeShea said...

I'm a writer & a Hermes 3000 fan
myself. I own three of them, including a Hermes 3000 I originally purchased in the early 1970's.

I love the feel of the keys -- there's
something sexual about it. I mean that.

Years ago I was a newspaper reporter in Union City, NJ. The office was loaded with Royal portables. Great feel on those keys,
even better than the Hermes. I owned a Royal portable in the mid-60's when I went to graduate school. Deeply sorry I ever sold it.

Of course, the quality of Royals
had declined greatly by the late 60's.
They were just junk at that point.
Soon after I turned to the Hermes.
The feel of the keys was almost as good.
I know. It's sort of like comparing a later very satisfactory and exciting lover with an earlier almost perfect irreplacable one.

Now I use Macs -- I'm typing this on a Mac keyboard. I like Macs, but,
of course, it's not the same. I have a number of old Mac Classics stashed around my office.

Life goes on. I've often heard that the Erika was actually the Rolls Royce of manual typewriters.

George Shea
Studio City, CA

Anonymous said...

Congratulations. I think the 2000 is the most "friendly" of the Hermes; in fact, I don't really like the 3000 at all. You got a good 'un.