Typewriters not yet a thing of the past

SAN ANTONIO – The sounds of a typewriter are something you don't hear very often anymore. But they're the sounds that make Don Spring tick.

Spring was 21 when he started fixing typewriters for IBM. It was 1966.

"Everybody had to have one," Spring said. "But you can't buy typewriters anymore."

Times have changed, no doubt. But his love for the lost art hasn't changed a bit. 

He said he's thankful he's not alone. He is still in business fixing typewriters.

"I still probably have about 400 customers," he said.

So who are his customers?

"I tell people, I say, 'This was the grandfather of the computer," said attorney Jack Efron. "To us it's a vital part of the office."

Efron has been a San Antonio attorney for 53 years. He still uses his typewriter almost daily.

"We use it for making labels," Efron said. "I use it for envelopes. I sometimes use it to write a memo to a secretary."

But Efron is one of very few. Most past customers have moved on to computers.

Take KSAT 12 News for example. Spring used to work on the station's typewriters. But in the early 90's, things changed. And as a technological industry, the station had to move on.

A lot of Spring's current clients don't technically need typewriters repaired, but they keep him taking them to him anyway. 

"I've had people with manual typewriters want me to clean them so their kids can see them so they can see where the computer age came from," Spring said.

By preserving the pieces of history, technological stepping stones like the typewriter never truly become lost.

To learn more about typewriters click here.


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