Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Typewriter Crafting: Dirt is an Enemy

If you were to read any instruction manual from the golden age of the typewriter you would find many references to the importance of covering your typewriter. This started me thinking. I have some typewriters that sit out and are completely unprotected. Sure, I want people to see them, but I also want to be able to use them without having to dust them off first.

Covers were once ubiquitous typewriter accessories. Now, they are nearly impossible to find in good condition and made of a material of which my wife would approve. That's why my wife and I made this:

What could be under this cover?

A blue Olympia SM-3!

When I say I helped, I measured machines and cut out the fabric. The actual sewing was done by the missus., but it looked easy enough to do.  I am currently working on a pattern that you can download and make your own. We also have been toying with the idea of selling them, but look for the pattern in the next few days.

In case there were any doubts in your mind as to the importance of covering your machine read this excerpt from the 1950 Federal Work Improvement Program Equipment Maintenance booklet (You can find the booklet in its entirety at this link):


  1. Great. I've been looking for covers myself and have not been successful. Much appreciated.

  2. I'm torn on this. After a while, the accumulation of dust and cat hair and the like is not only unsightly but hard to remove, and does interfere with the machine. But how nice it is to be able to see all the typewriters!

    A collector I know keeps his typewriters in vacuum-sealed bags. Very safe. Very difficult to enjoy. It's almost as if you didn't own them then.

    Anyway, congratulations to you and the missus on a nice cover.

  3. Richard, agree completely. But perhaps if I cover my 6 typewriters while I sleep at night or while I'm away, that might be of some help.

  4. Yeah, I'm torn on this as well. I have a couple original dust covers and used to use them religiously, but then I wanted to see my typewriters.

    I did put a couple orders for new dust covers back in February. I gave my mother-in-law some measurements so she could quilt me ones for my SG1 and Selectric.

    I like your fabric selection!

  5. In the booklet of a Hermes Media (1970's) I tried it said in typical 20th-century-manner: "Machen Sie es sich zur Gewohnheit, die Maschine jeden Abend in ihr Kästchen zu setzen." But I don't know how to translate this fair into english :(.

  6. I just bought 2 crystal-clear typewriter dust covers from: Because we could not bear to hide our typewriters, we were letting them get dusty, after just having them cleaned and adjusted by Paul at Bremerton Office Machine:

    We gave him 52 typewriters that we had collected when everyone was getting rid of them, in return for having him clean up the 6 we wanted to keep. They are such wonderful mechanical marvels, and have such a good sound and feel when we use them. We fill out all forms with them, as well as typing letters and shopping lists and labels for things around the house. Paul has purple typewriter ribbons, according to his blog. Can't wait to get over there and get one. ~Pamela