March 28, 2017

Man who fixes typewriters out of his utility barn

Last typewriter repair manTerry Vorten witnessed firsthand the death throes of a once-world-beating analog technology—the typewriter. Its destruction turned his lucrative profession repairing the machines into an anachronistic cottage industry.

The 69-year-old resident of the Shelby County town of Fairland might be the last typewriter repairman in central Indiana. Vorten, who these days works out of a tricked-out utility barn in his back yard, for decades owned the King Typewriter Agency, a busy downtown Indianapolis shop that employed a team of workmen and at its peak handled more than 20 repairs daily.

Customers “wanted their typewriters back yesterday,” Vorten recalled. “I always told them, if they wanted them back yesterday they should have brought them in the day before.”

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