The Smith-Corona Silent

When I was first getting into the world of typewriters, my parents took me to see a movie called California Typewriter. It was mostly about a small office machine shop in California, but featured different authors, collectors, and songwriters, such as John Mayer, Tom Hanks, and Richard Polt. When asked his favorite typewriter, Tom Hanks responded with the Smith-Corona Silent. Specifically the ones from the mid-1950s with the green keys. I kept this in mind after watching the movie, and although I already owned a Corsair Deluxe, I decided it was time to go to the local antique store, Wilson’s, and look for another typewriter to buy.

The next morning, my dad and I took our rusty white Subaru downtown to Wilson Antiques, and I began my search for a durable, working typewriter. I had visited the basement and the main floor of the store already when I headed up the stairs to look on the second floor. I came to a floor between the first and second that only had two small rooms, which were mostly empty, aside from a display of old coins. On a whim, I decided to enter a small room that had very little in it, besides some unremarkable furniture. I was so surprised, when on a shelf in the corner, there sat a mid-1950s Smith-Corona Silent. I called to my dad, and told him with excitement that I had in fact found Tom Hanks’s favorite typewriter. We closed the case and brought the machine downstairs, buying it for 70 dollars. To this day, the machine sits on my desk and serves as my primary typewriter.

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