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Check out this beautiful, fetishistic vintage typewriter repair kit:



I borrowed it from my friend Andrew Leman, (actor, prop builder, graphic designer, typographer, and filmmaker) who got it to use in an upcoming Lovecraft film he’s producing. I used some of the tools to straighten bars in my vintage typewriters. Now he wants his kit back, so I thought I’d better take some photos of them first. I love the little compartment for the three parts drawers.



John Edgar Park

John Edgar Park

John Edgar Park likes to make things and tell people about it. He works in CG animation at DisneyToon Studios and writes for Make, Boing Boing, and other places online and in print. You can find him at and twitter @johnedgarpark — if you like that sort of thing.

  • dijonaise

    I inherited some of both my G-pa’s and my Dad’s tools and it makes me smile every time I touch one of their implements.The photos of this typewriter repair kit literally brought tears to my eyes.
    I am lucky enough and yet cursed enough, to have witnessed the entire changeover from mechanical devices to the packetized digital future that we live in today. As a young man I served in the U.S. Coast Guard, and used a variety of “transitional” technology. The main method of communicating was the TeleTypeâ„¢. We had plenty of vacuum tubes, but computers as well. Don’t get me wrong, I am no codger, this was 1982.
    The patina on those tools, and the machines they serviced are an anachronism now. However, they evoke the hard working romantic vision we have of that era which we have left behind for ever.

  • KentKB

    What a wonderful thing this vintage typewriter repair kit is….
    “Fetishistic” indeed.

    Do not give it back! As a Prop builder myself, I for one would never loan it out, so, Keep it He will learn a Lesson ;-}

  • Rachel Hobson

    Fantastic! This makes me giddy!

    • Joseph

      I think that’s one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a -long- time. I’d love to own one!

  • Jonathan Peterson

    I have the exact same pair of parallel jaw pliers on the top of the heap partially hidden by the brush. They were my grandfather’s, who was a dentist and are sitting on my bench right now.

  • John Park

    Joseph, I wish I knew where to find one too. I like Andrew and all, but I’ve been kinda hoping he’d get knocked on the head and develop amnesia or something…

  • salsa

    I found a very similar leather case at a garage sale last year– paid ~$8, complete with two metal trays in the base, but without the stash of old tools.

    • John Park

      Nice one! Where do you live, and do you have a guard dog or alarm system? ;)

  • Dave Ewan

    Circa 1969 I got a job fixing typewriters & was given one of the leather bags for a while. They eventually gave me one that looked like a brief-case and weighed twice as much. Weight was a concern because the broken machines could be anywhere in a factory, from the receptionist’s desk to the dusty old greasy mouse-poop filled manual that they had back on the shipping dock. I would have ben a much happier man with a Leatherman tool in my pocket, but they weren’t available at the time. The 10 years I worked on typewriters was the same time that mechanical calculators died. There was no contest. In ’69 a four function calculator cost $1000 and required about $50 per year in maintenance. By 1979 they had dropped to $30 to $50. I did have a year when I worked on one model almost exclusively. I got to know that machine so well that I can still operate it in my head 35 years later. Not many people get to do that in the 21st century.

  • Drake

    Who the hell uses a typewriter anymore?

  • Joe Bowers

    Looks more like a robot repair kit to me, the kind one would use on ones self…

    • John Park

      [Jorb knows too much. After upgrade, must eliminate him.]

  • Barry Briggs

    These bags worked great for locksmiths as well. I wish I still had mine from Clark AB the Phillippines.

    • John Park

      OK, great point. I’d love to pull of a caper with one of these bags in hand.

  • JW

    I’ve had one of those bags for 20 years, never knew what it was designed for, still doubt it was designed for typewriter repair, but a good guess I suppose. The little trays on mine have a leather cover, it’s a good bag for a spy I think.

    • John Park

      Great point, I’d love to find it in an old Sears Catalog , listed as The Handyman’s Travel Satchel or something.

  • Bill Cropley

    I am a retired IBM’er since 1991. I made thousands of $$ working on the ‘big systems’ guy’s 360 system Selectric i/o printers (the 360, model 65 had two of them). I loved it because of it’s intricacies and peculiararities. I started in 1962 as a Customer Engineer and never changed. When I retired I kept my tools and somehow over the years they just sort of disappeared. I am now a missionary in Nigeria lecturing in a seminary-some change, huh? and would give my eyeteeth for a couple of the large springhooks (well, not really!) If anyone there has any to spare or donate I would much appreciate them. My daughter lives in Washington state and could forward them to me. You can let me know via email . Thanx.
    By the way I think I got one of the first of the brief case type tool bags.

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