The search is over. I reveal today the perfect accessory for my murderous pursuits. After many weeks of obsessive searching, I have taken possession of this awesome Oliver Model 5 typewriter. When produced, beginning in 1907, this machine was latest thing in typewriting technology. For the first time, the typist could see the letters as they were being typed. This is the perfect tool for my reporter protagonist. And even better? It was manufactured right in Chicago, Illinois, where she is located. I will visit the Oliver Building when I am at the Chicago Writer’s Conference.
The Oliver needs a bit of care, as it appears to have resided in a duty attic somewhere for the last century. The keys work, but the carriage is frozen. There are also the crumbled remains of a sheet of paper in the roller, which gives the idle mind fodder for nefarious speculation.
(update: the previous owner of the Oliver advised that his great grandfather bought this typewriter used in the 1930s and use it to write poetry. How cool is that!?)
I have neither the skill nor the inclination to attempt to restore this gem to its original working condition, but with a bit of patience and elbow grease, it should be restored enough to provide ample inspiration for imagining the lives of those who used this machine in its prime.
I have researched basic cleaning techniques. Irony has quite the sense of humor. I was delighted to learn that the tools needed to clean this typewriter are essentially gun cleaning supplies, with which I am already intimately familiar and fully stocked. Heh.