"Just imagine a car show for people who like typewriters," says event organizer Ryan Adney. "It's a pleasant afternoon of typewriters."
The idea of a type-in isn't new. Typewriter lovers first started gathering in the '60s to celebrate their machines, and Adney, who teaches English, yearbook, and journalism at Alhambra High School, says the second ever modern type-in was held in Phoenix not long after the typosphere converged officially for the first time in Philadelphia at the end of 2010.
Because of the Mesa Typewriter Exchange and the general interest in mid-century items in Phoenix, Adney says, type-ins have grown in popularity since 2011, and Phoenix currently holds the record for the most type-ins in the country. Yep, sorry, Philly.
"Our technology has advanced; we have not," Adney says.
Whether you've been collecting and restoring your machine for years, just got your hands on one, or have never used a typewriter before, Adney says the Phoenix typewriter community will be waiting with arms open. The upcoming type-in will feature a few activities throughout the event, including a speed typing competition, a presentation of Mad Men-era typewriters, and several speakers from the local typewriting community.
Type-Out events have been gaining popularity in the last few years as well. Instead of gathering inside, typewriter admirers would meet outside somewhere. Obviously with the summer coming, Phoenix is out of commission for hosting any type-outs, but Adney says they may schedule one in January when the rest of the country is envying the Valley's weather.
No matter where they're meeting, Adney says it's all about sharing the love of "antiquated writing instruments."
"There are so many computers out there, so many cell phones and things like that, and our lives are so governed by these electronic devices," Adney says. "It's a fun experience working with or on something that has kind of a detoxifying effect, getting rid of those things."
The Sixth Annual Phoenix Type-In is Saturday, May 23, from 1 to 4 p.m. at First Draft Book Bar within Changing Hands Phoenix, 300 West Camelback Road. For more information, visit changinghands.com.
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