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Friday, 9 March 2012

Oz Politician's Odd Habit of Collecting Typewriters

Richard Amery, flanked by his staff Sarah Hatch and Lorraine Strath, tests out his typewriters and notebook.
Australia’s typewriter-loving politician Richard Amery has had his strange and antiquated peccadillo exposed in the press once more.
Richard hasn’t been caught using a union credit card to obtain certain favours, nor taking kickbacks, nor demanding special treatment, nor hanging from a light cord in a tutu, nor emerging late at night from a Turkish bath or kicking a soccer opponent when he’s down.
No, Richard’s little sin, making him invulnerable to the scandal sheets, is collecting beautiful vintage typewriters.
Under the headline “Notebooks and typewriters not a thing of the past for Mr Amery”, the Mt Druitt Standard, in Richard’s electorate, ran a picture story this week about our friend’s “trifling fault”.
The story, by Stacy Thomas, read:
You’ve got Facebook. Mt Druitt Labor MP Richard Amery’s got a notebook.
The similarities are astounding. He captures moments in his day as the MP much like people update their status and share our thoughts.
“I feel naked if I don’t have my notebook and pen,” he told The Standard. “I’m certain that’s how a lot of people would feel if social media was down.
“Each little note I’ve written captures a moment in time - sometimes things you would have forgotten.”
“The amount of notebooks and journals I have is incalculable.”
Mr Amery believes his affection towards a notebook and pen, typewriters, classic cars and lawn bowls is directly linked to his age.
“I’ve been using typewriters since I was 19. I wouldn’t know what brand I started out with as a police officer in the city, but I used to replace the ribbon on them all the time.”
“It was when I started typing up the coroner’s reports that I started to fall in love with them.”
Mr Amery said there was nothing better than a typewriter with a nice touch on the keys that printed well.
Plus he said there was something about the noise that was captivating.
“They have an incredible amount of moving parts, but best of all they’re a tool of the trade.
“In 1978 I became the branch secretary for the Rooty Hill Labor Party branch and every good secretary needs a typewriter. So I purchased a German Adler.”
It was at this point that family and friends would give him their unwanted typewriters, sparking his collection. He now has about 120, all in working order.
His local mechanic [Terry Cooksley] is in Blackett. He too collects typewriters.
“There is only a small fraternity of collectors in Australia, but it is big in Europe and America.”
Mr Amery will open a typewriter display at the Canberra Museum and Gallery in July.
What's that TV thingie doing with a QWERTY keyboard? asks Richard A

1 comment:

Richard P said...

Richard Amery truly seems like the model politician! How nice to know that his machines, like yours, will be going on museum display.