the collector

martin Howard

Welcome to my website. I invite you to browse my collection and discover for yourself this wonderful world of antique typewriters!

If you have any questions, require some information or have an early typewriter for sale, please be in touch.

Why do you collect typewriters?

Collecting early typewriters is perfect for me. Typewriters are a class of complex machines with such individual identities, that are not too large to put on my workbench and which speak to us today, in this world, where nearly everyone communicates by typing.

How would you define your collection?

I collect typewriters that were manufactured before the standard typewriter design was set for the 20th century. The last quarter of the 19th century, in particular, saw a remarkable range of ingenious and beautiful designs. There were many successes and, also, many wonderful and intriguing failures!

What sparked your interest in typewriters?

As a teenager, my parents collected all sorts of unusual antique implements, including kitchen, agricultural, medical, and trades tools. They created quite a collection in their basement. I appreciated the intricacies of their design and the beauty of these objects. 

When I reached my thirties, I realized that I needed to find my own mechanical collectible.

Why are typewriters of interest in today’s digital world?

In this age of blinking lights and touch sensitive screens, the collection has a great appeal to a world that uses keyboards on a daily basis. The early typewriters are tools whose purpose is immediately understood, allowing one to imagine what it would feel like to push the keys.

Remarkably the QWERTY keyboard endures 150 years after its first appearance.

Do you sell typewriters?

Yes, I sell 19th century collectible typewriters to enthusiasts and collectors all around the world.

I also sell fully serviced 20th century portables to people who have the desire to use a typewriter for their writing needs. Portables from the 1920s to the 1970s come in sleek designs and in a range of colours from shiny black to cherry red. Portable typewriters were made in many countries including some notable models from Italy, Germany and the U.S. 

Currently available

Do you show your collection?

Typewriters from my collection have been displayed across North America in settings, including the Royal Ontario Museum, CES (The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas), Toronto’s Pearson International Airport and various conferences.

I am always interested in new opportunities for showing typewriters from my collection.

Completed displays and exhibits