Just My "Type": SF Man Lives For Typewriters
by Phil McIlrath, KDLT News
February 08, 2012 9:04 PM
It's hard to imagine that in the age of computer technology, the relic, writing machine known as a typewriter is still something used in an office, and not viewed through glass at a museum. But one Sioux Falls man says their "type" has never gone out of style. In fact, he's made it his life's work, even making house calls to keep them running.
"I've gone into offices and people have said, 'Gosh, I bet you feel like a blacksmith.' I reply,'Wow, blacksmiths are still that busy?!'' said Typewriter Repairman, Brian Feit.
To the average person, IBE in Sioux Falls might be a graveyard for these so-called relics of the written word. But, for Brian Feit, repairing these desk top giants for the last 30 years is just his "type".
"It seemed like a pretty nice career at the time. I thought, these things will never go away,"said Feit.
Their popularity is still clicking, and not just with old timers.
"We're seeing younger college kids bringing them in and they want them fixed up,"said Feit.
After tweaking thousands of typewriters it's come down to a science. All Brian needs are a few specialty tools, screwdrivers and a little oil to spell out the treatment for T-L-C. No software upgrades, or viruses.
"This guys is from 1896 and it works just perfect,"said Feit.
For someone who types for a living there is a classic feel to a typewriter; from the weight of the keys to the ding that you get when you arrive at the end of the margin. Best of all, when you're done you've got your work right there in front of you.
And Feit says there's definitely an art form to typing, the craftsmanship of the machines is something that rivals even newer technology.
"You get into these old guys made of cast iron, these were in classrooms and they were very durable. You could drop it off a desk and continue typing! Nowadays you're not going to find that with a computer...or anything else!"said Feit.
So, in this case, when it comes to the phrase, 'Out with the old, in with the new', the writing isn't necessarily on the wall, rather it's on the page.
Feit says in his 36 years of repairing typewriters, he's serviced, in the neighborhood of one-million machines.
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