Interestingly, the typewriter historically has been at the forefront of feminism. It was a gateway for women to get jobs. The simple act of someone dictating notes and letters to be typed up, led to enabling women to join the workforce.Jun 25, 2022, 13 46 | Updated: Jun 26, 2022, 12 48
Ernest Hemingway, famously wrote A Moveable Feast on a typewriter. He didn’t physically lug his typewriter across Paris cafes, but he wrote on his typewriters till they were worn out. So much so that there is a collection of Hemingway’s typewriters at the American Writers Museum. Hemingway typed so forcefully that there are type marks left by the keys on the platen (back roller inside the typewriter.) Which asks the question, if a typewriter could speak, what would it reveal?
This World Typewriter Day (23 June), Urban Solace’s owner Perry Menzies, asked that very question. Inspired by a listing he saw in the Catholic Club, June 2022 newsletter, Menzies decided to find Bangalore’s most storied typewriters. He’s displaying it at his cafe in Ulsoor till 26 June, 2022.
He put out a post that read, “Call for Collaborators”, with a simple appeal for owners of typewriters to share their machines with the people of Bangalore. “That opened a floodgate of emotions and stories that need to be told,” Menzies told Explocity. Typewriters inherited from fathers and grandfathers are all on display.
Interestingly, the typewriter historically has been at the forefront of feminism. It was a gateway for women to get jobs. The simple act of someone dictating notes and letters to be typed up, led to enabling women to join the workforce.
“We have these 15 beauties on display,” Menzies said. These machines range from first time owners who bought them off ebay to machines that have been in the family for four generations. Each machine has a story to tell or several for that matter and captures the human emotions of family, love, dreams, aspirations and more. One machine still holds the last sheet of paper that was put into the typewriter by his father over 10 years ago. One belongs to the famous "Britto sisters" who put Bangalore on the Indian hockey map. Yet another serves as a reminder of a dream still caught in her soul – the typewriter was given to her by her students who gifted it to her when they learned that their teacher was planning to write a book – but 10 years down the line.. the story remains to be trapped and untold. But the generosity of the students is still felt with love.
The exhibition is being experienced with a range of emotions by guests of Urban Solace. There are the kids and younger guests who are seeing a typewriter for the first time ever, to several who recall their grandfathers typing away on the machine that they were forbidden to touch.
The exhibition at Urban Solace, Ulsoor, is on till the 26th of June 2022.