Saturday, August 2, 2014

Thank you, Eileen

15-year-old Eileen Bunch made it to the quarterfinals of the Jeopardy Teen Tournament on July 23. 

  Alex Trebek: Do you know that you and I have something in common?
  Eileen: What's that?
  Alex: We both use old typewriters.
  Eileen: That's right.
  Alex: But you get into trouble because of your use.
  Eileen: It's really, really loud, and my family kind of hates it because it's really loud. But they're not sitting there right up next to it, so...
  Alex: Yeah. Do you have trouble finding ribbons for it?
  Eileen: Actually, no. There's a store in Cincinnati, where I live, that has ribbons, and they actually fixed up a few typewriters for us. It's pretty nice.
  Alex: Well, good for you. Okay. You stick with it.

I congratulate Eileen and Alex on their good taste in writing implements -- and I thank Eileen, because in the last few days, three customers have turned to the Urban Legend Institute for typewriter ribbons and repair, all saying that they found us thanks to Eileen's comment on Jeopardy.

The first customer wanted ribbons for his mother's Royal portable. His mother is 100 years old. She has been using the same Royal for the last seven decades straight—and she bought it used.

The second customer is about Eileen's age. She got a '50s Smith-Corona from her grandparents, but the mainspring was frozen up. She is curious about all the functions of the machine, and eager to use it. She plans to show it off to her schoolmates at "bring your own device day."

The third customer was looking for a ribbon for her grandmother's Remington Personal-Riter.

It's the tool of choice for intelligent writers, young and old.


  1. Ha! what a crazy world. :D

  2. I'm constantly amazed by the caliber of people united by typewriters.

  3. That's awesome! It just makes me feel warm and fuzzy seeing her smile in the photo. A fellow typospherian!

  4. Richard, I'm sure you've already considered interviewing her for your book. I've never heard of the Personal-Riter before, but now I'm going to look it up.

  5. That was a great interview! Sorry I missed it. We usually watch Jeopardy nightly, but the past few weeks I've missed some nights. I hope she won enough money to have JJ Short recover her noisy platen to make her machine quiter. Better yet maybe a kind typosphereian was listening and has given her a quite machine or arranged for a new platen.

  6. "Our world" keeps getting smaller and smaller, or maybe bigger, and bigger! Or maybe it was that way, and we just didn't realize it until we got to know each other. Typewriters are tools of communication, and through communication, we know about each other. I love the hunt, and the discovery that unites us all in the end. Thanks for sharing Richard!
    PS: Put together a display at my local library about the "Great Exhibitions and World's Fairs" - put my Underwood Master model from the 1939-40 New York Worlds Fair, on display, along with a photo of the Remington Portable NY World's Fair model. A number of older people either had one, used one, or had a relative that owned a "Master", and were happy to be reminded. It warms my heart!

  7. i have a feeling this young lady will go on to do some important things in her life. Using a typewriter at her age... and that great smile on her!

  8. That's fantastic! Thanks for sharing that, Richard. I have yet to visit that place (Urban Legend Institute) but very much wish to.