The Last Typewriter Repair In India
I have a couple of very old typewriters in the basement I'm saving for craft projects but I'm sad to say, as a writer I don't miss having to type stories on a typewriter, with all the corrections and the smell of whiteout. I wonder how old tech will survive long enough until we get to the point we need them again?
"In Goa’s capital, Panaji, on Rua São Tomé, not far from the main post office, is a shop that offers packaging services. For a small fee, they will wrap your parcel in a sheet of muslin sewn with precise stitches to protect its contents from being damaged in the post. It started as a sideline to the main business of the store, but now it is the main earner for Luis Francisco Miguel de Abreu as he struggles to maintain one of the last typewriter repair shops in this Indian state. Inside the shop, several typewriters sit in various states of repair, looking much like museum pieces. There is a Hermes, a Remington and a Godrej Prima, from the Indian manufacturer that was the last company in the world to make typewriters.
‘As long as the main door is open, I will have to do it. I prefer to go till the end,’ says Luis Abreu, the shop’s owner. Photograph: Chryselle D'Silva Dias
Abreu, 78, sits in a chair surrounded by paperwork, spare parts and memories. His father, Domingos Abreu, was employed by the US typewriter manufacturer Remington Rand in Mumbai before he moved back to Goa and started his own servicing and repair firm in 1938.
“My older brother wanted to study engineering and there were no schools or colleges here, so he had to go to Portugal,” says Abreu. “You needed good marks and money. I could have also gone but I stayed back to study and help my father in the shop.”