THICK, THICK…CHALK, CHALK…FITT,FITT – The appeal of the old and the practicality of the new

THICK, THICK…CHALK, CHALK…FITT,FITT – The appeal of the old and the practicality of the new

Quite a few of my story relate to brands with long history, here is a story about a very new brand

THICK, THICK…CHALK, CHALK…FITT,FITT – The appeal of the old and the practicality of the new

“I use a manual typewriter — and the United States Postal Service — almost every day. My snail-mail letters and thank-you notes, office memos and to-do lists, and rough — and I mean very rough — drafts of story pages are messy things, but the creating of them satisfies me like few other daily tasks.”

So says Tom Hanks who is a real typewriter fan. He eloquently, even lovingly, described his passion in an article he wrote for The New Times

“You can choose the typewriter to match your sound signature. 

Remingtons from the 1930s go THICK THICK. Midcentury Royals sound like a voice repeating the word CHALK. CHALK. CHALK CHALK. Even the typewriters made for the dawning jet age (small enough to fit on the fold-down trays of the first 707s), like the Smith Corona Skyriter and the design masterpieces by Olivetti, go FITT FITT FITT like bullets from James Bond’s silenced Walther PPK.

Composing on a Groma, exported to the West from a Communist country that no longer exists, is the sound of work, hard work. Close your eyes as you touch-type and you are a blacksmith shaping sentences hot out of the forge of your mind.”

He did however “confess that when real work has to be done — documents with requirements equal to a college term paper — I use a computer. The start and stop of writing begs for the fluidity of modern technology” 

Knowing about his passion, Nerdist Podcast host Chris Hardwick decided to try and short cut the normally long process of tempting a star onto his show and sent Hanks a 1934 Smith Corona typewriter along with a typed invitation to come on the podcast.

Dear Tom,

Please accept this typewriter–o–gram as a formal invitation to be a guest on my wildly-popular-with-the-kids Nerdist Podcast. It is a super relaxed, fun chat that will probably cover comedy, NASA, and whatever else you want to talk about — a new WEBSERIES, perhaps?? We are nice guys who are easy to get along with and have never murdered anyone. Other guests have included folks like your son Colin, Tina Fey, Conan, Jimmy Fallon, Bryan Cranston, John Lithgow, Willem Dafoe, JJ Abrams, Neil Patrick Harris, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Joel McHale, Jon Hamm, and THE MUPPETS. It would be an absolute dream come true to add you to this list. Please accept this 1934 Smith Corona as a gift for even considering this request. It should only VERY SLIGHTLY affect your decision.

Hugs and high fives,

Chris “Vintage Typewriters” Hardwick

 Hanks typed his reply…




Dear Chris, Ashley, and all the diabolical genuies at Nerdist Industries.

Just who do you think you are to try to briibe me into an appearance on your

’thing’ with this gift of the most fantastic Cornona Silent typewriter made in 1934?

You are out of your minds if you think… that I… wow, this thing has great action…

and this deep crimson color… Wait! I’m not so shallow as to… and it types nearly



I will have my people contact yours and work out some kind of interview process…

Damn you all to hell,

 Tom Hanks




…and duly appeared on the show

Hanks finally decided to combine his passion for the old with the practicality of the new and working with mobile-development studio Hitcents, he co-developed a new brand – the Hanx Writer

The Hanx Writer is a word processor that simulates the rattle of an old-fashioned typewriter. It includes the option to dispense with a delete key, and to cross out mistakes with XXXXs instead. The basic app is free, but users pay $3 for extra typewriter models and upgrades.

Within days of its release, it had risen to the No 1 spot in Apple’s app store in the US.


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