Michael McGettigan has what some would consider to be a quaint hobby. Most of us haven’t used a typewriter in years, but we’re not that far along into the computer age that we can’t remember listening to the rhythmic hammering on the keys. Personally, I have fond memories of typing out funny stories with friends and not-so-fond memories of typing out papers for school on my grandfather’s typewriter. I couldn’t tell you what kind of machine it was, or where it is today. McGettigan, however, owns several typewriters and is behind www.phillytyper.com.
Following the success of the first Philadelphia Type-In, organizer McGettigan wanted to give the people what they obviously wanted. The gathering was a chance for typewriter enthusiasts to show off their pride-and-joys, try out each other’s machines, and maybe work out a swap. At this second event, the group discussed how they were bit by the typewriter bug and traded tales of typewriters loved and lost. Steven Rea told the story of selling his Hermes 3000 during a garage sale. Two weeks later, he was overcome with buyer’s remorse and bought it back.
Jon Roth, Jr. was there with his Royal, having been drawn to two facets of typewriters. First, the romance – visions of famous writers typing out their great works over their typewriters, war correspondents frantically writing up their reports from the front lines. Second, the history of their advertising – ads that promised happier secretaries or improvements in school grades and what they say about the consumer mindset of that time.