Before Laptop Computers, This Movable Typewriter Was All The Rage

[A bit of background: Cheri at Naples Girl Blog went on a trip to Cuba a few weeks ago.  Since then she has been writing about what she saw and including photos in her posts.  When I read her post, Hemingway and Cuba,  I knew that it was a sign for me to write the following.  You see, Hemingway had a typewriter just like the one that I inherited from my Dad’s side of the family.  Kind of cool, eh?]

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My grandfather was a shoe salesman who travelled around a three state region.  This is a photograph of his Corona typewriter that he used for work.

This particular model of typewriter folds shut making it portable.  It was referred to by Corona as The Personal Writing Machine.  Over a 30 year period of time, 700,000 of this model were made.

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I did some research online and found a copy of the original instruction manual: How To Use CORONA, The Personal Writing Machine.  The last page of the manual says the following… which seems as applicable to today’s portable technology as it did back in 1920 when this manual was written.

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I like this little typewriter.  It’s a fun example of something practical + quirky from the past– favored by Hemingway, used by traveling businessmen.  And I think that it’s kind of cute– in a WALL•E sort of way.

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Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Looking for the crumb of truth in the cookie of life.

15 thoughts on “Before Laptop Computers, This Movable Typewriter Was All The Rage”

      1. It’s funny – I was like a little kid when I saw that typewriter and was able to get a worker to take that picture for me, as we weren’t allowed in that room. Very cool.

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  1. That is so cool!! What a cute little typewriter. I bet someone would love to steal it if left unattended–both then and now:) I like the Wall-E reference, too–a great movie!

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  2. Can’t believe that people are still selling the unit, and that it costs what it does. I’m generally not a material person, but if we could get that much for ours . . .

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    1. Zen-Den, if you look at the ratty condition of the one we have compared to the pristine condition of the ones for sale, I can guarantee you that ours would never fetch that price. Grandpa used his machine!

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    1. Margaret, I’m impressed that you had a manual typewriter in college. That must of made typing papers quite a challenge! Yowsa. Those things were intolerant machines that made no allowances for mistakes.

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    1. Zazzy, 60 wpm?!! That is fast. Maybe because those Underwoods were so large and heavy, typing quickly was easier? Or maybe your mother was just a good typist! Impressive.

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