Johno Blackburn didn’t wake up one day and decide to collect typewriters. High performance Falcons, yes, old buses, absolutely. But typewriters? Not so much.
Today, the young Junee man, 21, has 23 typewriters, from rare vintage models to the more modern electric types – and is as passionate about them as he is the larger, noisier items in his collections.
Fascinated by machines and machinery, Johno, who is originally from Narromine, has lived in Junee for more than 17 years.
“I don’t know what it is,” he said, “there’s just something special about typewriters.
“I think I got my first one when I was at high school, I was probably about 15 or so. I didn’t mean to start collecting them but when I saw how many different sorts there were, all with different looks and colours and varieties, I was hooked.
“I’ve got portables, big electric ones, an old-school Underwood … some of them can be really collectible like the Hermes Baby – that can sell for more than $1000.”
But with a two-car garage full of tables of typewriters, and a growing passion for larger machinery, Johno has decided reluctantly to put his typewriter collection on the market. Originally planning to sell them in a bulk lot for $3000, he now plans to sell them off individually via Facebook.
“I’ve decided to sell them because I just have too many hobbies these days,” he laughed. “I would really like to get some more buses.
“I would love to sell them as a joint lot because then I’d know they would stay together but that may not be possible. That would have made them only about $130 each – some of them are worth way more than that.”
Johno said he often used the typewriters “for fun” – “it’s great to whack the keys”, although he had yet to type a letter.
“I just love the noise they make because you don’t really hear that sort of noise much anymore.”
With the sale of his typewriters, Johno hopes there’s enough room in the garage and/or shed for maybe a new bus or two.
As president of the Junee Bus Preservation Society, a not-for-profit group, he already has five of them, ranging in age from the 1950s to the 1980s and he is keen to get some more. And, as such a fan of machinery, he knows exactly what to do with them.
For more information about the typewriters, email [email protected].