Typewriters Used By John Lennon, Ernest Hemingway On Display At Northeastern

Attendees of the museum's event will be able to check out—and touch—more than 14 of the devices once owned by notable writers.

Although iPads and computers have made the daily use of typewriters, for most people, all but extinct, the fascination with the machines remains based on their historical context.

Through September 25, a new exhibit, hosted by the Gallery 360 at Northeastern University, will be open to the public and will feature typewriters once owned by literary greats like Ernest Hemingway, and musical composers such as John Lennon.

Other typewriters on display will be ones used by Ray Bradbury, John Updike, Barbara Streisand, Joe DiMaggio and the infamous “Unabomber,” Ted Kaczynski, who spent months in his hideaway in the woods compiling his thoughts on one of the devices.

Owned by Los Angeles collector Steve Soboroff, it will be the first time the 14-typewriter exhibit will be on “formal” display, and will also be the collection’s East Coast debut. “I love people who are the best at what they do,” said Soboroff in a statement. “The idea that geniuses sat there and accomplished what they accomplished on these typewriters… it gives me the chills.”

Soboroff will be at the exhibit to talk about his collection on September 5, from 4 to 6:30 p.m., during a reception for the gallery, telling stories about how he acquired each device, and what his motivation is for scouring the country in order to obtain them.

Soboroff, who is the parent of a Northeastern student, is also having a specialized braille-typewriter, once owned by blind tenor and music composer Andrea Bocelli, shipped from Italy, to make its first public U.S. appearance.

Unlike traditional museum displays, Gallery 360 hosts note that not only can attendees check out the typewriters up close, they can also touch them, placing their hands on the keys that were once tapped on by famous—and infamous—writers.