Monday, May 19, 2014

Midweek Antiquing - 100deg edition

Last Wednesday, frustrated because I couldn't find a machine worth going after on the usual online channels, I decided to hunt out in the wild. The forecast was for over 100°F but I felt brave and dedicated and stupid enough to undertake the ordeal. It worth it, I convinced myself, and treasure awaits! Unfortunately, by adventure's end, we'd learn an all-too-familiar lesson...

The only stop I prepared for was a return to King Richard's in Whittier, CA. The city is known for its old world, small town charm. There are many landmarks preserved although in the last 3-4 years there's been a movement to update and "upgrade" the city, especially its downtown area. While the big stores haven't moved in, hipsters are all over as trendy wine bars and gastropubs and breweries set up shop.
Not sure how valid this is but I can tell you the place is 4 different levels with little wings that are almost hidden from view. People have long claimed this to be haunted. I must admit, it's a little scary being inside.

First typewriter. $29.99
I didn't see a typewriter for awhile but saw these somewhat related objects:

I saw maybe a dozen or so sewing machines. For Adwoa:

The eeriness followed me:


And finally some  typers:

 Remington Quiet-Riter $60, Royal 440 $80, Royal 10 rusted $90, Olympia SM9 missing B keytop $65, Underwood 5 frozen $80, Smith Corona electric $50, Remington 666 $50, Erika pretty nice $200




That was supposed to be the end of the adventure but I was nowhere near satisfied; in fact, i was even more frustrated. So I googled and went to the another antique mall. Gum's Antique Mall was less grand but it had a man-made mountain complete with pond (with turtle and fish inhabitants) and bridge in the middle of its floor. I asked the lady if there were any typewriters, she said that 4 different people asked her the same thing yesterday and there were none. She said typewriters are hot. I looked around anyways and found an Underwood 5 for $225. The machine was in atrocious condition, probably unsalvageable. I walked out of there angry.

 I then drove about 5 miles to Long Beach Antique Mall I and II. Yes these are 2 separate malls, across the street from each other. Corona Flatline $125, IBM Selectric II $89, Corona 3 $79 but it was missing some glass tops, Underwood $150, Royal 10 $110, Brother Echelon 79 $55, Hermes 3000 with Techno type $185, Remington 16 $125.





I had some fun as these antique stores were huge. They sold their own motorcycles and had maybe 3 dozen old soda machines and etc. They even had their own funny car and fire engine for sale!


I was angry and frustrated, needing water as it hit 104° and there was even a fire in Long Beach which is seriously by the beach. I headed to a hipster antique shop that I had gone to about 2 years prior where I purchased my first Groma Kolibri for $70 which was an amazing price since the Kolibris on eBay were fetching $200 and etsy even more. Remington Remette $80, Hermess 3000 $95, Adler J5 $59, and they also had a Royal 10 for $100

So there is my adventure, lots of sweat and no typers to show for it. Next time I'll go antiquing in the southern California winter, probably have more luck and less heat exhaustion.



  1. aww, I hate that. Finding a nice selection but at such a high price you can only sit there and fume :P

    Better luck next time!

    1. I went out there so hopeful that a nice machine would show up. My eyes darted all over the place. I almost missed that Corona 3 except I recognized that Corona mustiness and sure enough there it was. Despite all the positive thinking, it was not meant to be. I so wanted to find a new machine!

    2. had I the day you had, I would have probably bought one of the Brothers just to not feel like I'd wasted the whole day. I commend your restraint (:

  2. Such nice typewriters. But yeah, they're fish I'd throw back to the sea. Mostly.

    1. yeah, really nothing to write home about. That Erika was pretty cool. And im always a bit surprised by how nicely sized an Underwood 5 is - usually with all the eBay photos you start to think it is huge.

    2. Funny! I used to think they are huge too, ut they are actually pretty compact. Too bad your hunt didn't go as you hoped for...

  3. I rather think the best machine was the Remington 16. they can be restored quite
    easily. The over all impression that everyone is an expert on antique prices now. Even at garage sales, I was told recently that a Royal KHM rust bucket was worth $50.00 after I had offered a generous $10. It is worth $50 now that I have spent a long time restoring it ( it still needs three new front and one rear feed roller) but it goes now which it did not before. To be clear, the owner accepted an Underwood 5 in exchange for it. It was her friend who was the expert.

  4. Well, dang:
    1) that's a lot of typewriters-- never see more than one or two on a run these days...
    2) man, nervy asking so much for an SM with missing keys
    3) Never thought of hypothermia as a threat to making a thrift run.... actually not quite true-- was down the Jersey shore once (avalon) and the flea market/craft fair was won a ball field in blazing sun, the vendors had little tents over them, so they could bargain with clear heads while we baked. Awesome strategy. The only typewriters I saw down the shore were in shop windows as "decor" not for sale.
    mcget / phillytyper