Typewriters are back: How one Colorado shop is putting them on the map

Posted at 12:43 PM, Jun 04, 2021

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. — Technology has drastically changed over the years, but one Colorado shop shows us no matter how old something is, it can still work perfectly

From the outside of Raymond's Office Machine & Supplies, you’d never know what lies beneath the alley shop. When you step inside, the more than 50 years of sales and service become evident.

“This is a Hermes. It’s a model 3000 typewriter. These are made in Switzerland. It’s one of the top of the line portable manual typewriter," said Darwin Raymond, the owner.

To call Raymond’s skills unique would be an understatement. The same goes for his assistant, JJ the cockatoo.

“ I said if he takes something apart, you can almost never get it back together," Raymond said.

Most of the time, he’s looking over Raymond’s shoulder as he plucks and pulls moves and maneuvers to fix every kind of typewriter. It's a skill Raymond never thought would be needed in 2021.

“Oh I thought it was dead 30 years ago and there wasn’t much going on, people just throwing typewriters away, going on with the new computers and printers and everything," Raymond said. "The typewriter stuff has come back. It’s evolved back.”

Not even the newest technology is distracting the younger generations from this 1800s invention.

“They are tired of all the computer electronic stuff. I think they are kind of going back," Raymond said. "Something that they can hit a key and see it print and it’s not going anywhere else.”

In the last two years, Raymond has watched them return to popularity.

“I get equipment and calls from all over the United States," Raymond said. "And they call me for all kinds of stuff. A lot of times they say, 'I want a certain typewriter, a certain type style, a certain color,' and because of what I have, probably 60, 70% of the time, I can fulfill what they want.”

If you want a typewriter to come back to life, Raymond is one of the few people who can make that happen.

“The problem with these is finding parts," Raymond said. “If I don’t have it, there are very few people I can get it from.”

Thousands of parts and dozens of machines all fixed for use.

“I have probably over 100 different machines down in my basement," Raymond said. “It’s just a resurgence. I can’t explain it. I don’t know why it is, but I am very thankful for it.”

There is one thing he is worried about.

“The problem is that there’s not a lot of younger people that want to work on them or learn how to work on them," Raymond said. “I’m just hopeful somebody will come along that will want to learn how to do that and maybe take over my position someday.”