Typewriters still in use

It seems every store in the valley will sell me a computer, but I don't do computers. What I want to know is if any place in town will sell me a ribbon for my trusty IBM Selectric.

— Bill, Medford

We could probably find you a ribbon or two in the Dusty Cavern of Forgotten Office Supplies at Since You Asked HQ, but that wouldn't really answer your question — nor would it fill the column.

So we asked around and found a store that not only sells ribbons and accessories, but full-on replacements should your trusty typewriter let you down.

"I still have some IBM Selectrics. I have Selectric IIs and Selectric IIIs," Hobe Scott, owner of Southern Oregon Stationery said. "They're reconditioned, so they're not new."

Scott says the store was founded in 1964 by his parents, Mel and Jean Scott. "We've been around 48 years. Out of those 48 years, I've been there for 40 years."

Scott gave us more information than we expected about the typewriter market. He informed us that Italian manufacturer Olivetti still makes a manual typewriter, and Japanese manufacturer Brother only recently ceased production of electric typewriters.

Even if it seems everyone's online and everything's digital, Scott says certain forms still require offices to keep a typewriter on hand.

"You can't download a lot of that stuff on the computer," he said. "Basically, you still need a typewriter."

He says it's much simpler to address an envelope with a typewriter than a computer. "It takes two minutes instead of 10 or 15 minutes to set it up in the computer."

Southern Oregon Stationery is located at 916 S. Central Ave., Medford. Call 541-779-3123.

Now that we've helped you, we should note that Ashland Parks and Recreation offers free computer instruction for seniors by appointment from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at the Ashland Senior Center. You can call 541-488-5342 to make an appointment.


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