Cambridge Typewriter Shop Hosting Speed-Typing Competition

Typewriter enthusiasts like to step away from their computers and get together to talk about ink and paper.

Photo via Cambridge Typewriter

Photo via Cambridge Typewriter

In a digital age, iPad’s may reign supreme, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a market for vintage devices once used for sending messages.

That’s apparent to Cambridge Typewriter shop owner Tom Furrier, during both regular business hours, and every time he hosts the “Type Out” event in front of his store in Arlington. “I try and do this twice a year—once in the spring and once in the fall. This is the third one we [will be holding],” says Furrier of the event, which draws anywhere from 30 to 60 typewriter fanatics to the sidewalk outside of his small store, where they set up benches and type away.

The gathering gives his regulars a chance to mingle with others who have an obsession with the nostalgic writing devices, but also brings out those with a unique machine that they want to show off and let collectors use. Furrier says the “Type Out,” which is scheduled for May 11, will feature a speed-typing competition, with the grand prize of a classic typewriter going to the person with the quickest fingers. “We put some long tables out in front of the shop on the curb where the grass is and I turn the inside of my shop into an antique display,” says Furrier. He says if customers don’t have a machine of their own, they can use one of the vintage typewriters he has out.

“It gets a little noisy if there is a big crowd out front,” he says of the clacking that comes from the hands of the attendees as they try out each other’s favorite typewriters. “And the shop gets crowded, but it’s a lot of fun.”

Furrier says he just returned from a trip to New York City’s East Village, where he attended a similar event (with a much bigger crowd). The uniqueness of the gathering was enough to attract NBC’s national news channel, but he doesn’t think they will show up for the Arlington event.

To find out more about Furrier’s shop visit his blog, where he posts about typewriter’s he has fixed after using them and then scanning the words on the paper into his computer.