Tuesday, August 04, 2015

But at Least One Can Always Dream


Post-Script: My recently revived fascination with fountain pens reminds me once again of the contrast between interest in objects still being manufactured anew (like pens) versus those now long since obsolete (like typewriters). With the former, collecting means choosing between both old and new, while with the latter there's only a finite number of artifacts available from which to choose from, in various states of decay.

Photo via Lumix G5; typecast via Olympus SM9.


Blogger Ted said...

Leica has a brand value that would make people drop $300 on a disposable point-n-shoot if it had the Leica name on it. Leica enjoys this reputation because it has proven it's worth in professional hands for decades. It would be difficult, I think, to successfully sell something like a typewriter - no matter how well built- without similar brand marketing power with a strong background of long, professional use. It's instructive to note that historically, there have never really been any typewriter brands with the sort of "artisan quality" reputation you'd need anyway, so the market has *never* really wanted an artisan typewriter, else it would have been made in the heyday.

1:29 PM  
Blogger Joe V said...

Right you are Ted. In their heyday, they were utilitarian objects. But in this post-heyday era, perhaps they could be perceived differently, not utilitarian but more aesthetically appreciated.

1:44 PM  
Blogger RobertG said...

Maybe when the supply dries up - so far there is still a steady flow of machines off attics and basements. (That must surely stop a cpl of decades out.)
Similar with 78rps, that is a finite (but abundant) resource.
For cylinders though, these are being made again! To order also and not cheap (artisan quality), but there is a small outfit in the UK that makes and sells new phonograph cylinders.
So who knows, maybe artisan machines are in the future : )

12:56 PM  
Blogger theshytypospherian said...

I enjoyed this post very much, Joe. I too share your "dream" and feel a typewriter along the lines of your description would sell moderately well. Kind regards,

1:12 PM  

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