The Typewriters of Famous Writers

atkins-bookshelf-literatureIn his autobiography [a portion was published in 1905], Mark Twain states: “… I was the first person in the world to apply the type-machine to literature. That book must have been The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I wrote the first half of it in [18]72, the rest of it in [18]74. My machinist type-copied a book for me in [18]74, so I concluded it was that one.” Twain purchased the Remington No. 2. in 1873 for $125 [about $2,604 in today’s dollars]. Like an user of first-generation technology, Twain was frustrated with the typewriter’s many flaws: “The machine did not do both capitals and lower case… but only capitals. Gothic capitals they were, and sufficiently ugly… That early machine was full of caprices, full of defects–devilish ones. It had as many immoralities as the machine of today [a 1904 model] has virtues. After a year or two I found that it was degrading my character…” 

Despite their devilish defects, there are some authors that would not part with their beloved typewriters. Below is a list of famous authors and their favorite typewriters:

Maya Angelou: Adler Meteor 12
Isaac Asimov: IBM Selectric I
Saul Bellow: Royal KMG
Ray Bradbury: Royal KMM
Truman Capote: Royal HH
Lewis Carroll: Hammond No. 1
Raymond Chandler: Underwood Noiseless
Agatha Christie: Remington Home Portable No. 2
Don Delillo: Olympia SM3 DeLuxe
Philip Dick: Hermes Rocket
T.S. Eliot: Smith-Corona flattop portable 
Ernest Hemingway: Corona 3
Aldous Huxley: Remington Portable No. 5
John Irving: IBM Selectric
Stephen King: IBM Selectric

Rudyard Kipling: Remington Noiseless
H.P. Lovecraft: Remington Standard
Cormac McCarthy: Olivetti Lettera 32
George Orwell: Remington Home Portable
Katherine Anne Porter: IBM Selectric
Thomas Pynchon: Olivetti Portable
John Steinbeck: Hermes Baby
Hunter Thompson: IBM Selectric
J.R.R. Tolkien: Hammond
Mark Twain: Sholes & Gladden
John Updike: Olympia SM3
Robert Penn Warren: Olympia SM3
Tom Wolf: Underwood

Read related posts: The First Typewritten Book
The Inspiration for Dickens’s A Christmas Carol
Why Did James Joyce Burn His Manuscript?

You Only Have Your Emotions to Sell
Sleeping Habits of Famous Writers

For further reading: Typewriters: Iconic Machines from the Golden Age of Mechanical Writing by Anthony Casillo
Stephen King from A to Z by George Beahm (1998)

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