Mark Soderbeck was just opening up his little store, nestled next to an old fashioned barber shop. Soderbeck greeted me with a warm smile and proceeded to show me around the seemingly ancient little store with both electric and manual typewriters displayed in a neat row. The old electric typewriters immediately caught my eye with their pastel colors cleaned and restored to their original splendor. Free from the constant distraction of social media, news sites, and the constant barrage of emails we all tolerate every day, the typewriter is a purely utilitarian machine. A select few, mostly writers, still use their old typewriters, seeking that simplicity and tactile quality. Mark Soderbeck began repairing and selling typewriters here at Vale Typewriter Inc in and bought the business two years later.
6319 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55423
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Privacy and Disclosure Notice for more information. I found a shop about 30 minutes away that does typewriter cleaning and repair. My third typewriter is an Olivetti X, which is electric and works super slick. Mark Soderbeck, the owner of Vale Typewriter , started his shop in They have no website or social media presence. My Wedgefield right is a more recent purchase garage sale and probably used the least. Mark did a great job and I have been using both of these typewriters for letters and cards recently. Below are some of the typewriters for sale in his shop the day I was there.
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There are even fewer places you can take one to be repaired if it stops click-clacking. His is one of only four typewriter repair shops still operating in the metro, he says, down from more than 20 during the s. Soderbeck bought Vale Typewriter in , when he was 21 years old, after working two years for its previous owner. He had the business and the building paid off in 12 years. Soderbeck was working an average of 80 hours a week to clear a backlog of repair orders that sometimes reached into the hundreds. As personal computers became more affordable — and ubiquitous — they cut into typewriter sales. So did his revenue.
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