The final destination of our epic walk was a shop called Type Space, at 2409 SE 49th, just off Division Street. This amazing place, run by Tony Valoppi, has been open for two months.
Tony is a great lover of old typewriters, from the 1905 Fox to the ultra-spiffy IBM Selectrics that terrified me in High School typing class. Anytime you have the chance to learn about something from someone who LOVES it, you should. So we did!
Tony told us all about the first typing machines and their manufacturers, the business intrigue and cut-throat buy outs that affected what typewriters got made and sold.
He took different machines off their shelves to show us the intricate mechanisms, explaining the incremental changes that created what we all think of as a typewriter. My brain was so full!
The space of the shop is very comfortable, with dozens of vintage, working typewriters, a large table, chairs and benches available for typing, chatting, or even working on laptops. Tony wants this space to be used, and makes his more modern machines available to students at nearby Franklin High School for their writing and experimentation.
Typewriter restoration is a hobby that has become a business, which is always the most fun way to make a living. Tony Valoppi is a fascinating, happy, knowledgable person. I am so glad we got to know him. And we will be back.