Tom Hanks unveiled his typewriter fetish in a New York Times editorial this weekend. The 57-year-old Castaway actor recently completed his Broadway debut in Nora Ephron’s Lucky Guy.
Hanks starred in the role of 1980s-era New York tabloid columnist Mike McAlary. But he mused in the NYT piece that it’s too bad that the play wasn’t set a little earlier — because Tom Hanks wanted to indulge his typewriter fetish.
Hanks claimed that he uses a vintage manual typewriter almost every day.
What does the Academy Award winner like about old-school manual typewriters? It’s the sound.
Hanks possesses a large collection of typewriters that allow him to select the one that gives him what he called the proper sound signature to express his mood. Apparently you can be a blacksmith pounding steel or James Bond firing a silenced Walther PPK depending on which typewriter you choose.
He isn’t the only one who thinks so. Over the years, Libra and White Noise novelist Don Delillo has also revealed that he works on a manual typewriter.
Canyon Coyote Press identified the reclusive writer’s typewriter in question, at least as of 2001, as a 1970s-era Olympia SM-9. Delillo noted that he’d bought it secondhand 25 years before.
Tom Hanks revealed that he bought his first vintage typewriter in 1978. The extended collection can be found overflowing his shelves, home, storage facility, and even the trunk of his car.
Like Delillo, Hanks has discovered that his typewriters never really wear out.
So now the actor has a new worry.
The US postal service is on the skids and reportedly losing billions of dollars a year. And everybody else other than Hanks and Delillo have long ago switched over to email and text messages for their casual correspondence.
Tom Hanks knows his typewriters will last. But he noted that, “I’d better start hoarding stationery and pray the post office survives.”
[antique typewriter photo by Jonathan Weiss via Shutterstock]