California Typewriter Company is the quintessential family business, employing proprietor Herb Permillion (above), his daughter Carmen, and his mother Nita. Although Carmen works in the business, her father believes that the craft of typewriter repair will not survive into the next generation.
"Once we go," he says, "we're taking it with us."[...]
California Typewriter Company works on both vintage and modern office equipment, but surprisingly, over the last 10 years, the sale and repair of manual typewriters has constituted an increasing share of their business. Most of the people buying the older machines are under 35, the company reports, and are mostly people looking for an interesting gift or a decorative conversation piece.
In addition, girls under 12 have become a significant market, following the example of the titular character of the recent movie Kit Kittredge: American Girl, who frequently uses a typewriter. California Typewriter Company also worked on machines for celebrity clients including Danielle Steele and Tom Hanks, and sold a replacement ribbon to Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong.
Link | Photo: NIH