While many consumers opt for a portable computer, typewriters are still available. Typewriters provide portable typing when a laptop is unavailable. Some typewriters do not require electricity. Following are some terms associated with typewriters.
Carriage – All typewriters have carriages. Traditionally, the carriage moves paper to the left as ink is deposited. The type of carriage depends on whether the machine is an antique style or electronic. Antique carriages move back and forth and have many parts, including a platen and paper supports. Electronic models have a fixed carriage, but they have additional parts that move instead.
Levers – There are many levers on typewriters, and each lever serves a specific purpose. Typically, there is a lever to eliminate carriage mobility, a lever to release the paper, and a lever for exchanging or reversing the ribbon.
Motor – A motor, typically a carrier motor or a transport motor, is needed in electronic typewriters. It, combined with a carrier drive belt and pulley, provides movement of the carrier. The carrier must be able to move in order to deposit ink.
Paper Support – This device holds the paper in place while the typewriter is operating. It often has lines to indicate when the print is nearing the edge of the page. Old paper supports commonly require repair or replacement.
Platen – Predominant in electric typewriters, the platen is a wheel that the paper wraps around. This device contributes to paper feeding and text printing and correction. The platen needs rubber rollers to operate. After considerable use, a platen’s rollers will probably need repair or replacement.
Ribbon – A ribbon is the part of a typewriter that holds ink. Vintage machines will have fabric ribbons, while newer electronic models have carbon cartridge ribbons.
Spool – Old fashioned fabric ribbons are wrapped around spools.
The success of ink jet printers and word processing software means that fewer companies produce typewriters these days. Those who prefer using manual typewriters have to make sure that they keep their machines in good condition by getting regular maintenance checkups and repairing broken parts as often as needed. This usually means taking the typewriter to a repair shop.
Typewriter repair shops can usually restore popular models. They should have experience repairing ribbon spools, cleaning debris from keyboards, and replacing vintage covers. Some of the shops, however, might focus on specific types of machines.
For instance, some companies might focus on antique manual models. They know how to clean, repair, and restore these machines with tools and replacement parts. Just because they know how to fix manual equipment does not necessarily mean that they know how to repair electric and portable models. Of course, most shops will have experience with a variety of used typewriters, but it makes sense to find out whether the business focuses on a certain type or brand.
Sometimes it is necessary to contact a specialty shop just to find the right type of ribbon and tape for the machine. As antique typewriters get older, the manufacturing company might stop making the ink ribbons designed to fit them. Some specialty stores will feature a selection of hard-to-find ribbons that work with older machines in stock.
You can find more information about repair services, maintenance, and accessories by searching the internet for online businesses that specialize in antique typewriters. You can also look for forums where consumers share information about their experiences at these shops.