Sunday, June 19, 2011

Just My Type


Freshly graduated from high school…new adventures loomed on the horizon for young Fern…


She left the comforts of home and family for the bustling city of Los Angeles in the 1920’s…

First thing that must be done:  get a job.  Newspaper searched and an advertisement found:

Typist wanted for Telephone Company

“I thought I could accomplish the job and do the work because I had been pretty good at typing in high school,”  Fern recalled…

… “pretty good” was  quite a modest claim, actually…

…125 words per minute on “straight type” was her claim to fame…

DSC03868_edited-1 {decorative journaling sheet from Crafty Secrets’ new “Vintage Paper Patterns” CD}

Typing test taken…a week later, a card arrived in the mail…

“Please report to the Southern California Telephone Company on Santee Street…”

Her first job landed…and in Los Angeles she stayed…

DSC03876_edited-1 {vintage typewriter and sentiment stamps from Crafty Secrets’ “Office 101” stamp set}

So many things relating to this little story came into my life this very week…

I’ve LONGED for a beautiful, old typewriter to call my very own…didn’t think I’d ever find the type of vintage beauty I had in mind…and if I did ever find one, I certainly didn’t think I’d be able to afford the asking price!

Last Saturday, as is our new custom, we hit the yard sale circuit…a small nearby town having their yearly community yard sale….oh, what a day!

On one of our very first stops—my heart stopped, too…


…a gorgeous, pre-1920 Underwood typewriter…!

I put my hand on it—thinking that would claim it for mine—and casually (as I could!) asked the elderly lady who owned it, “how much for the typewriter?”


“Oh…that was my grandmother’s”, she said wistfully… “how about five dollars?”

Oh, my!  It was so hard to keep a straight face as I said, “I’ll take it!”  Couldn’t believe my luck that day!

DSC03792_edited-1 {Love this detail!}


I just love how even everyday items were made so beautifully at the beginning of the last century…so much lovely detail on even the most utilitarian items…


Turns out, according to Fern’s daughter (my mother-in-law), that this was the very style and make of typewriter that Fern used to type on…talk about a lucky coincidence!

Just down the street from where I got my typewriter…what do you think I found?


A wonderful typewriting book printed in 1933…


I just love these illustrations for pre-typing hand exercises—so funny!


…proper hand placement on the keys…


…the anatomy of a typewriter…!

About mid-week, I went to pick up my daughters who were staying with their grandma (Fern’s daughter), for a couple of days…


…and she pulled out her beautiful, old portable Corona typewriter for us to see…


…in perfectly wonderful condition…still works like a charm…the first time my girls ever typed on a real, old typewriter—they were thrilled!


Why aren’t keys this beautiful anymore?  Look at the “pi” key!  Love the font on the “floating” shift key…

We were able to take it home and “babysit” it for a while…

A little addition to my heritage scrapbook made yesterday…


…the beautiful framed journal sheet is from Crafty Secrets’ new “Vintage Paper Patterns” CD…


…this vintage “button” is also found on the CD—looks pretty real, doesn’t it?!


What a wonderful week this was…just my type!

I’ll be taking a bit of a summer blog break this next month…so much to do and enjoy with my sweet family…I don’t want to miss a thing!

I’ll pop in now and then to check on you all & I’ll be back with regular posts soon…

Enjoy every golden summer moment!



  1. Would you believe that I am only 53 years old, but I learned to type on one of these! I had it in my bedroom for years and I should have kept it. But I have some alphabet stamps in this style so I get to use them and have the vintage look of the old typewriters. Happy day dearest Julie! Anita

  2. certainly was your lucky day! WOW! A typewriter and a great little book, too :) I have a couple old typewriters and one is in the living room and the other in the lower level living room...I do love these old machines! Can you believe how heavy these are?? LOL!

  3. Love, love the typewriter! I would love one of these! Gorgeous page!

  4. How lucky are you, Julie?! What a treasure you found and for $5. I bet you about fell over. Good things come to good people. I love the story of Fern and the card you made, oh and the Spock hand at the bottom of the hand exercise page. Not everyone can do that.

    Beautiful, beautiful. Enjoy your time with the family.

  5. Happy dance my sweet friend....what a treasure! Enjoy her...she will love her new home with you. xooxooxo Hugs for a great Father's Day

  6. went to the perfect home. Gorgeous just like all your treasures. I have been enjoying all your heirloom posts. Thanks for sharing. This is such a nice place to stop and take a break...smiles...Renee

  7. What a great story and what a great find! I've been looking for an old typewriter too. You were very lucky!!

  8. What a fabulous find! Wow! That is wonderful, Julie! I love the scrapbook page you did for Fern too.
    Enjoy your time with your family!

  9. What a lovely story of Fern! It certainly seems it was meant to be that you found the typewriter and the book. Before computers became commonplace, I actually worked in a law firm where I had to do all my court documents and briefs on a Selectric Typewriter. Making mistakes sometimes meant starting all over again. I used to type over 100 wpm -- maybe I still do; I always know when I've made a mistake and have to correct right away. Everyone at school is amazed I can type and talk at the same time. :) Enjoy your summer holidays. Best wishes, Tammy

  10. What an awesome blog post!! I love, love your typewrite...and the keys on the portable oh my!! I LOVE the Pi key, especially since my husband is math teacher. I'm on the lookout for an affordable vintage typewrite too...I wish I hadn't sold one way back when...or the blue portable Corona that your girls typed on one...I love introducing vintage pieces to my boys!!

  11. Julie~~~

    I love the little story of Fern and how she got her first job!! And you are going to love your new treasure! It's very cool looking, but I can imagine how hard it was to type on one of them!!

    Hope you are having a great summer!


  12. Julie, You know how this post just thrills me as a former typist myself! I can feel in your words the excitement you felt at finding this gem. I do wish you and your family a happy Father's Day weekend and especially a lovely summer vacation. I head off to my own the first week in July. Lots to share when we both come home! Miss you already! Elizabeth

  13. In my last comment to you I asked how your junking day went with the girls... I'd say PRETTY WELL!!! Love the old Underwood. I have one too. It is just soooooooooo vintage perfect. I never use it as I'm afraid I won't find a ribbon. ENJOY!

  14. Julie, this is such a fun and sweet post. I can remember typewriters when I took summer school in the 1970s at my town's high school. This was in the days when summer school was all about arts and crafts and music and ceramics - pre-proposition 13 days. Why I took typing as a 9 year old, I do not know but by the time I was in high school they were all electric and today I use my computer of course. Amazing! 125 wpm? Wow! Another fun post filled with family stories and your beautiful creations. Love it!

  15. Love this post... the story... the typewriter... the fun of "the find"... the book... makes me smile! blessings ~ tanna

  16. Julie, how do you do it. How do you have the most wonderful posts! You always have the greatest stories about real people from way back and that Typewriter to match the story is just pure fate! I love the typewriter, the paper craft you did to go with it and the story of Fern! You are amazing! I am off to Girl's camp this week, can't wait until it is over, it has been a lot of work, but I think we are ready! Hope you have a great week!

  17. Julie, this is such a wonderful post!! So enjoyable and FUN to read. Hope you had a lovely Sunday.

  18. I love Fern's story! My husband's sister is named Fern, for their grandmother. Can you believe my husband found a typewriter like this when he was diving at our lake. When he pulled it up it looked perfect and still does. Surprisingly no rust.

    Have a wonderful break Julie, enjoy every moment.

  19. Wow, Julie, I totally love it and I've been trying to buy one for 2 weeks!!! The woman who had it is still trying to find it in her stuff...I hope it appears!! What a perfect post, my friend!!

  20. The typewriter was just meant to be yours, Julie. It's fantastic and inspired you to create another beautiful page for your heritage book.
    Have a wonderful summer, my friend!
    Hugs to you,

  21. Aloha Julie,
    I always enjoy your posts and your wonderful vintage finds.
    TFS and warm hugs.

  22. Oh Julie, what a great buy, only five dollars... I just love the old typewriter's, their so beautiful, and make great displays. Love the addition to your scrapbook too, it's gorgeous! Hope you have a wonderful and blessed week!!!
    hugs~~~ Daphne

  23. You write awesome page in your heritage book, it is really inspired work. I am waiting for your more beautiful work.

  24. LOVE that old typewriter Julie!
    I've never seen one with a Pi key!

  25. Some things are just meant to be Julie, and that typewriter was just meant to be yours! And it was definitely your day when you found the book besides! Perfect inspiration for you family scrapbook! I'll miss your great posts this summer, but actually I will probably be slowing down a little in blogville too.. there really is so much to do and see outside.. sitting at the computer does take away from that!
    have a delightful summer!

  26. What a great story about Fern - and then what an amazing deal - $5!! Lovely post
    Mary x

  27. Julie, Such a great story about Fern and a darling post.
    I got chills when I read you found the old typewriter for $5.00. How wonderful!!! and now you get to babysit another one. how Fun!!!
    Have a great time on your vacation.
    hugs Lynn

  28. Julie, it is a fantastic find, beautiful, and then to that price--uhhhh you was lucky, dear friend-
    your Fern collage is a lovely and wonderful piece,too.

  29. Just popped in to have a little nose what you have been up to Julie and say thanks so much for your visits, I so appreciate them even if I can't gad about blogland as much I would like.

    B x

  30. What a wonderful find Julie! Your pictures are beautiful!

  31. Great, now I gotta' go see if my mom still has our old typewriter that I used to play with. As usual, you're always an inspiration!

    Big Hugs,

  32. Another FABULOUS blog posting packed full of WONDERFUL information! Enjoy your summer and family! You deserve a break but I look forward to hearing/seeing more of your wonderful stories/photos in the near future.
    A little sadness here today. Mark's mom passed away in her sleep Sunday night. We had just celebrated her 91st birthday on Thursday and although stricken with alzeheimers, she enjoyed the gathering! We are headed to Pittsburgh, PA shortly for the viewing & funeral.
    Enjoy your time with your beautiful girls! MISS YOU MY FRIEND!! Big HUGS!!

  33. What a once in a lifetime find!!! I'm very impressed at the composure you showed while "sealing the deal" :-D

  34. My son and I
    were trolling one
    of my fave vintage
    markets today and
    I almost bought one
    of these beauties!
    But it wasn't pre-
    1920's, like yours,
    which is what I want.
    Sweet deal...sweet post!
    xx Suzanne

  35. That is such a sweet story! I'm so glad you were able to find such a treasure! Enjoy :)

  36. Julie, we loved this post, and we are happy for you to find such a treasure and at that price! WOW! We wish you a great summer :)

  37. Hello Dear Julie!1 I LOVE this blog background! (you beat me!!) I have missed your lovely art and stories, it's gonna take me at least an hour to catch up!!

  38. Julie, another beautiful post! I just loved it as always. My mother had a very old typewriter, which she sold a long time ago. I can remember just how much effort it took to punch those keys down, but it made for very strong fingers! Typing may be a lot easier today but it has lost some of it's charm I think! Love your newest creation, again as always! I hope that you have a wonderfully blessed and joy filled month with your girls and dear husband! I send oodles of love and hugs from rainy and cool UK today, but they say a heatwave is in the near future. We shall see! xxoo

  39. It was your lucky day. It is almost like it was sitting there waiting for you.
    I can't believe the lady was even willing to sell it. but, it found a good home with you.

    I enjoyed that story about Fern...don't think I've heard anyone use that name for a long long time now.
    enjoy your summer break. We all need them.

  40. Me encantó como siempre. Mi madre tenía una máquina de escribir muy antigua, que vendió hace mucho tiempo.