Experience the world of typewriters at TB Writers Plus in Dayton

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

TB Writers Plus, a typewriter sales and repair shop in the Davis-Linden Building at 400 Linden Ave. in Dayton, is inviting people to use their machines for $5 per hour.

“We thought giving people the chance to come in and use these machines without the commitment to purchase would be nice,” said owner Trevor Brumfield. “Especially for those wanting to use them for crafts or one time type of situations.”

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

Typewriters are not rare, Brumfield said. They can be found at antique shops, online or if you’re lucky, at your grandparent’s house. Brumfield believes typewriters can be overlooked.

“The typewriter community is a lot like a lot of different niche collectable type of communities,” Brumfield said. “It’s not dead. It’s just quiet.”

Brumfield bought his first typewriter in October 2021 because of his love for antiques and anything with nuts and bolts. He has been a mechanic for nearly 10 years.

After fixing a few typewriters for family and friends, word spread that he was doing it and next thing he knew he was operating a business out of his home. Brumfield moved to his current space in Dec. 2023 and said “business quadrupled overnight .”

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

He doesn’t have a ton of local customers, but many commute from Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus or Indiana. From 8-year-olds to 95-year-olds, his customers base varies.

“Some people buy them because they don’t know English and want a good way to practice,” Brumfield said. “Some people struggle with reading and writing and they do it that way. Others are extremely proficient and write thousands of pages a year and just want to do it on a typewriter. Some of them just want one for decoration.”

No matter if you plan to type as a creative or therapeutic outlet, TB Writers Plus can help customers choose a machine that will fit them best. Factors to consider when looking for a typewriter includes size of hands, height, what type of desk you will be using and whether or not you have long or short nails.

“Almost all typewriters were primarily used by women,” Brumfield said. “Most (of) everything you see on these machines as far as design changes were largely to accommodate fashion changes and various things with women.”

For example, the keys on typewriters were redesigned when acrylic nails became popular because women were breaking their nails on the keys.

Brumfield said after new users understand where the keys are and what everything does, the hardest part will be learning a typing technique.

TB Writers Plus has typewriters for $200 to $400. Brumfield said he does not spend more than $50 on a machine. The prices are based off of the work he does to them.

Another unique aspect of the business is they offer old office supplies. Brumfield said he started collecting old office supplies because some of his customers were college students that were creating a themed-office nook based off of their typewriter.

One of Brumfield’s favorite aspects of typewriting is being able to see the intent behind the words.

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

“If you were to subtract the literary value from what you were looking at and would just look at it from an image, you would literally see a sign wave of their emotion on the paper,” Brumfield said. “Their attitude is being impressed into the page.”

If the writer is feeling passionate or angry, the words will look darker. On the other hand if the writer is anxious, the words may be lighter or there may be misspellings.

TB Writers Plus is the only typewriter sales and repair shop in Dayton. Brumfield believes his shop is the only brick-and-mortar store in Ohio. He said there are other professionals that offer services from their homes.

Those interested in visiting the shop should park at 15 Davis Ave. When customers arrive they should call the shop at 937-522-1022. Customers are encouraged to give the business a heads up before they stop by, so they can make sure they’re available to unlock the door.

TB Writers Plus is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, 7 to 10 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday, 7 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 4:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday. For more information, visit www.tbwritersplus.com or the shop’s Facebook, Instagram or YouTube pages.

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