About the Collector

Tony Casillo


Tony Casillo antique typewriters 
My first experience with an antique typewriter, or any antique for that matter, took place in the late 1970s.  While employed as a repairman for a typewriter company in New York City, I discovered an old, dusty Oliver typewriter.  It was sitting on a shelf in a back storage room where neglected and unwanted typewriters were kept.  With a dark green painted body, three rows of keys and its type sitting high above the carriage, it was unlike any typewriter I had ever seen.  After carefully packing the machine up and carrying it home on my daily commute via a standing-room-only NYC subway system, my Oliver typewriter had found a home.  Once unpacked, I explored the machine further and soon discovered that there wasn't much information available on the subject, not to mention finding others who were interested in these machines. Soon afterwards, I noticed an advertisement in a trade publication offering a 1890s Blickensderfer typewriter for sale.  This eighty year old typewriter used a type element for printing that resembled the modern IBM Selectric typewriters I was repairing for a living at the time. This intriuged me to the point that I went on a road trip across two states in order to purchase it. After all, I thought to myself, when would I ever see another one. On my return trip home I realized that I wanted more, a collector was born!   I soon began dedicating enormous amounts of time and energy searching for early and unusual typewriters.  I frequented flea markets, estate sales, auctions and criss-crossed the rural coutryside in search of elusive early typewriters.  I advertised in various antiques trade newpapers with the hope that I could find those dealers who came across them in their travels.  I would never pass an antique shop by without stopping in for a quick look and to chat with its owner.   I believed anything could be anywhere and searched everywhere for them.  My only regrets were for the typewriters I didn't buy, the ones that got away.  More than forty years have passed since I first discovered that abandoned Oliver and the Great Typewriter Hunt continues.

The methods I used for finding antique typewriters back then are no longer as effective as they once were.  With the Internet, typewriter collecting has changed for the better.  No longer will someone making their first typewriter discovery need to wonder, as I did four decades ago, if anyone else collects old typewriters.  Information is abundant and making contact with other collectors is easily accomplished.  If you've recently discovered an old typewriter or have a typewriter question, please get in touch with me, I would like to hear from you.

Typewriters: Iconic Machines from the Golden Age of Mechanical Writing

Author, TYPEWRITERS Iconic Machines from the Golden Age of Mechanical Writing, 2017

Antique Trader, 2019: "Low Tech Passion in a High Tech World".

Antique Week, 2017: "Typewriters are writing their way back..."

Organizer:  Typewriter Collectors Convention 2000 and read about it here too.
Feature article in Yesterday's Office

American Icons feature story in American Profiles Magazine

Antique Trader Magazine 2014  Feature Story, Click, Clack Cool!

ETCetera Magazine Article: Duplex Typewriter

ETCetera Magazine Article: Typewriter Collectors Convention 2000



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