Philadelphia typewriter shop helps preserve, restore the art

Philly Typewriter is a repair shop, but it's also a sort of museum, filled with antique models donated by people around the area.

Alicia Vitarelli Image
Friday, June 24, 2022
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Owner Bryan Kravitz says despite the popularity of word processors and computers and phones, good old typewriters are making a huge comeback.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Many Philadelphians may not know this, but there's a shop on East Passyunk Avenue dedicated to the preservation and restoration of the typewriter.

Philly Typewriter is the brainchild of a decades-long typewriter repairman and enthusiast.

Owner Bryan Kravitz says despite the popularity of word processors and computers and phones, good old typewriters are making a huge comeback.

"I'm really amazed that this is happening right now," Kravitz said. "When we put people who have never used a typewriter sit in front of a typewriter for the first time, we watch the smiles on their faces as they push the keys. They realize that something's coming out of their brain, into their finger and onto the paper. There's nothing between it. That's what puts a smile on people's faces."

Philly Typewriter is a repair shop, but it's also a sort of museum, filled with antique models donated by people around the area.

"People are finding old typewriters in the attic and saying, 'I don't know what to do with this,' and 'I don't want it, but there is someone who will.' So they come here to preserve it and pass it on to the next generation," says William Rhoda, manager at Philly Typewriter.

Kravitz says the demand for typewriters is high now because so many people suffer from digital burnout and security breaches.

He also adds that there's just something about a typewriter: the rhythm, the tapping, the creative process, that fuels writing in a different way.