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Handyman sets out to save them from extinction

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Kirk Jackson explains why using a manual typewriter is almost like playing a piano, and how it inspires him.

Nashville Tennessean

Nearly four years ago, longtime collector Kirk Jackson happened across a dusty, old manual typewriter in an antiques shop — and that turned into a full-blown obsession

He’s only 42, but handyman Kirk Jackson has always been an old-school guy who loves old stuff.

He collects old oil lamps and old coins. He fixes and preserves old furniture and old machines. He uses roller and hand brushes instead of spray guns to paint houses. He keeps his broken-down 1980 Jeep parked next to his work shed because he likes to look at it.

So it was natural four years ago that he was drawn to an old, dirty case in the Dead People’s Things antique store in Goodlettsville during a shopping trip.

Handyman Kirk Jackson keeps most of his 220 manual typewriters in this work shed about 100 yards behind his Goodlettsville home. (Photo: Larry McCormack / The Tennessean)

Jackson hoped it was an old record player, but when he opened the case, a filthy 1954 Remington manual typewriter was inside. The keys still worked though.

“It was intrigue at first sight,” he said.

Jackson got the store owner to come down from $50 to $35 on the price. He brought home his new-old typewriter, blew away dust and dirt with an air compressor, tapped out some sentences and made a bunch of typing mistakes. 

After a few paragraphs, something clicked for Jackson.

He started buying manual typewriters. He taught himself how to repair them. He scoured the internet for parts, and he joined online groups of manual typewriter enthusiasts and collectors.

He started selling some typewriters that he has cleaned up and fixed. He started repairing other

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