Typewriters – The Real Steampunk

I know someone who has a typewriter collection.  By this I don’t mean he has a couple typewriters.  He has lots of typewriters.  And he has amazing typewriters.  And he displays them.  And they are indeed wonderful.  They are purely mechanical and as far as I can tell they all still work, with some being over 100 years old.

Keys of a Royal Standard Typewriter, from 1906

Camera & Lens   Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XT (Canon) & 24.0-105.0 mm     Shutter:   1/25 s
Creation Date:   2009:04:12 09:07:11     Aperture:   f/4.0
Artist:   Ari Brown     ISO:   400
Exposure Mode:   Normal program     Focal Length:   105 mm

Lots of people these days are creating steampunk artifacts – things that look like they are old-timey.  Lots of brass and switches and cogs.  That’s all well and good, but this is the original steampunk.  I love all the intricate metal parts.  The spools and reels and keys and whatever else these things are.  I don’t know more than what he’s told me and what is written about each.  I know that this one is a Royal Standard typewriter from 1906.  I know it has some wickedly cool keys with apothecary symbols on them.  I don’t know much else, but it doesn’t take much for me to appreciate it.  I just love the rows and rows of metal keys.

I hope you like it too, because I’ve got some more pictures, coming up soon.


  1. I really like this. BRASSSS.


  2. Hi Ari, Love that pic! I’m a screenwriter up here in Canada and would love to use that image on the face of my biz card. May I?
    Ted DeMarsh
    London, Ontario Canada


    1. Sure Ted. Go nuts. Send me a shot of it, if you don’t mind!


  3. Totally – knobs and switches and levers and such. When you’ve got no electronics, you solve problems a whole different way. There are some cool ones that sit on sewing machine tables since it was the only “workstation” setup that really existed up to that point. I wish I could have gotten some of the shots I’d have liked to take, but I had the wrong lens and didn’t want to touch anything more than a hundred years old.


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