Monday, July 16, 2007

Chicago Bookman Discovers Typewriter Heaven

Chicago rare book dealer stumbles upon one of the last surviving expert typewriter repairmen and restorers(Visit
For Steve Kazmierski, what started out as a repair business years ago has now evolved into a restoration business. He spends his days putting the punch back into old, rundown typewriters.
While you'd think in this day of hi-tech computing typewriters would be hard to find, Steve says he has quite a clientele. He has been repairing typewriters since he was 16. When he first started in business he made house calls. Now he finds the current interest in the machines surprising.
"Ten years ago, for example, I was still working on regular typewriters, where people were still using. That was my main line. Now my main line is the old antiques, restoring old typewriters," said Kazmierski.
Kazmierski's shop is a virtual typewriter museum. Some of the machines brought in for restoration date back to the 1890s.
No longer in production, the Oliver was manufactured in a plant on Dearborn across from the present day Goodman Theatre.
Passionate about what he does, Kazmierski works six days a week and sometimes on Sunday. Restoring a century-old device is particularly gratifying.
"That gives me such a pleasure, because it may not work for 100 years, and here I put it back to life. Some of the people call me Dr. Frankenstein, because I can restore machines, put them back to life again. That's my satisfaction

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