Tom Hanks is best known for his worldwide fame as an Oscar-winning actor. However, in a niche industry, he’s also known for an impressive collection, which he’s been generously sharing lately.
Since the 1970s, Hanks has been an avid typewriter collector with a collection that includes nearly 250 typewriters. Now the actor shares the wealth of his antique machines – he ships typewriters from his personal collection to shops across the country.
“They just show up on your doorstep unannounced,” Tom Furrier, owner of Cambridge Typewriter in Massachusetts, told per ABC. Furrier was given an Olympia SM4 typewriter from the early 1960s.
In the last month, Hanks has shipped typewriters to at least four small shops across the country that share his love of the vintage typewriters — all signed and wrapped in green towels with the logo of the actor’s production company, Playtone, and mailed a personal letter from the actor .
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“It’s yours now,” the letter to Furrier said. “Take good care of it and help.” [sic] It keeps doing that [sic] Job for another hundred years.” (Omission of typical typewriter typos, not included.)
Here’s the letter I received on the typewriter from Tom Hanks. @NBC10Boston pic.twitter.com/KXMrPzSDTt
— Kirsten Glavin (@kirstenglavin) April 6, 2023
“If there was a typewriter patron saint, it was him,” Scott Connors of New York’s Stephentown Typewriter Company told ABC.
It’s unclear how many stores have received Hanks’ personalized donations and how many he plans to give away to others, but in 2019, the actor said The New York Times He began giving away some of his collection and only had about 120 copies left. Eventually, he told the outlet, his goal is to narrow his collection down to just a single typewriter: the Olivetti Lettera 22, the same model on display at MoMA in New York City.
Hanks received his first typewriter at the age of 19 and as he continued to collect it his passion only grew.
“They are a brilliant combination of art and engineering,” he said The New York Times. “Each machine is as individual as a set of fingerprints. Every time you type something on a typewriter, it’s a unique work of art.”
However, fans of Hanks and typewriter lovers don’t necessarily have to own an antique shop to receive a personal letter from Hanks. According to ABC, if you send him a letter, according to two recipients of Hank’s typewriters, he’s a “reliable correspondent.”
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