Friday, August 30, 2013

Manson H. Whitlock (1917–2013)

The typewriter repairman Manson H. Whitlock died earlier this week at the age of ninety-six. He was the last of four brothers whose father opened a bookstore in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1899. The store also sold typewriters. Whitlock was working until late June and may have been the world’s oldest typewriter repairman.

At oz.Typewriter, Robert Messenger has assembled, with the help of John Lambert, an extraordinary trove of materials related to Whitlock’s life and work: advertisements, newspaper articles, photographs. They offer glimpses of a gone world, when college students could store their typewriters for their summer: “Storage free if you have your machine cleaned and adjusted at our standard rates.”

Manson Whitlock’s 2010 interview with the Yale Daily News is a delight.

Related posts
Manson H. Whitlock, typewriter repairman
Manson H. Whitlock in the news

comments: 2

Diane Schirf said...

I just had my apartment packed for a mandatory renovation, and perched atop a stack of boxes in the living room is the Royal Sabre manual typewriter that got me through UofC. I couldn't bear to get rid of it, and there's at least one website that still sells ribbon for it . . . we had a typewriter repair shop in Hyde Park for many years, but I think it disappeared in the 80s or early 90s . . . time flies. I think the owner had an ancient Underwood in the window.

Michael Leddy said...

I still have the Olympia SM9 that was my family’s typewriter. It served through high school, college, and most of grad school. Now I use it to show students a typewriter (helpful for knowing about the influence of the machine on modern American poetry).