typewriters on the Story of the Day exhibit table at the American Writers Museum

AWM Story of the Week

Every week, the AWM is excited to bring you stories written by our visitors in our Story of the Day exhibit. Check back weekly for new stories, and visit the Museum to try out our typewriters and possibly be featured here!

This week, we’re very excited to introduce our new blog series, Typewriter Tuesday, and so we chose stories written about our typewriters! Visit the Museum to share your story and see Frederick Douglass: Agitator before it leaves in May.


This dialogue between several visitors is a lot of fun, and we’re happy everyone enjoyed the Museum!

Hi. I am fascinated by this amazing place. I have always wanted to learn how to type on one of these machines. It is the coolest thing. This machine rocks. Doe anyone else geek out?

So happy to be here…this place is like a gold mine of inspiration.

Hello…are you happy to he here too…I hope so…


It comes back — the sensation of physically forcing down keys and watching effort turn into prose.

I wrote my first few plays on a portable manual typewriter, and a book about Chicago theatre called SOMETHING WONDERFUL RIGHT AWAY. The book took maybe four years to finish. It probably would have taken half the time on a computer.

I’m am not nostalgic as to want to go back. Typing this now is more work than I wish to undertake these days to get the words out.

But I confess to missing the sense of connectedness that working on a manual gave me — that I actually had to make an effort to get words into a form in which other people could see them.

I’m writing a biography now. It will probably take me two years to finish. If it weren’t for the portable computer, I doubt I would have undertaken it.

By the way, I’m delighted by the museum. But where is Edward Albee on the wall of writers? And where is Jules Feiffer? Or have I missed them somehow?

Jeff Sweet


Not everyone loves typing on the typewriters, but it’s fun to try anyway!

I am getting very mad at this typewriter. How did people write like this? I ,, am pretty sure i,ve made at least 24 typos. I should type slower.

This thing is agg va in

I mean t to say agravating

a g g r a v a t i n g

ugh. Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to write like this digital-

oh wait