segunda-feira, 6 de fevereiro de 2012

Hunting for Ribbons

Today I went searching for ribbons. Two new typewriters have arrived last week and my ribbons stock is running low.

Instead of going to my usual seller, I've decided to explore some new options. And so I went downtown and started asking in every stationery stores for ribbons. Most people looked at me like I was an alien and just said that typewriter ribbons are no longer produced (they have ruined my mood). The ones that still have them are the usual red/black nylon ribbons and they were expensive. I was already thinking in giving up and going to my usual seller to buy the Kores red/blue cotton ribbons I always use. But I've decided to take a chance and go to one more store.

The stationery store was old. Really old. So was the man behind the counter... When I've asked him about ribbons he just laugh and said the silk ones are best (and suddenly I'm again in a good mood)! I've ended by having a small talk with the old man and I've found out that single color ribbons are almost impossible to find in Portugal in nowadays. He also told me that a few decades ago he used to have green, purple and orange ribbons. I would just love to have one of these! But now they are officially extinted over here. The only way to find them is ordering from abroad... (ebay here I go!)

He ended by finding this old treasure. A silk ribbon in a adorable case. He told me he bought them ages ago and he hadn't sell any in the last two decades. It's a silk red/black ribbon, and the best part... It's metal and not plastic!



The ribbon is really old and I'm afraid that has already dried out. But I dont have the courage to open and trying it. I believe I'll keep it as souvenir from past times. Perhaps I'll return to that store and I'll buy another one just like this. By 1,99€ it was a good catch (by Portuguese prices).


And by the way, the salesman is also a typewriter enthusiast. He still has a old Mercedes with decimal tabs that he uses for is accounting. I guess I'll definetly return to that store. With any luck the nice old man might have found some more treasures hidden behind his counter. And trust me, he was really happy in selling a typewriter ribbon!


Don't worry... I'm not going to start collecting old ribbons. I'm pretty happy in just collecting typewriters. But I believe it's best for me to order a big stack of them while they relatively easy to find online. And at an affordable price... And I have to start searching for green and sepia ribbons. I really want them :)

13 comentários:

  1. I buy my ribbons locally, for the incredible price of 12 CHF - more than I pay for most typewriters. Lately, I got some ribbons from Georg and with typewriters and noew I have about 11 of them, some black/red, some black only. And, as I can tell you, black only ones are still being manufactured - those Pelikan (Chian) ones.

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    1. Thanks for the tip. I'll search for those Pelikan ribbons ;)

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  2. 12 CHF? That's about 10€... That's outrageously expensive! I refuse my self to spend more than 2,50€ for a ribbon. I'm glad that ribbons are cheaper here. Although typewriter are much more expensive :(

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  3. What an amazing find! Down here, in Mexico, it's still relatively easy to find new cotton ribbons both in red and black, and in solid black. They are made by a couple of manufacturers - one of them sells its stock through a department store chain called Office Max. (Now, finding ribbons for old Selectric I's... that's a different story!)

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    1. In here we used to have our own production with the portuguese subsidiary of Kores. But since the production has ended I think no one kept the importation. Some sellers offered to order the ribbons directly from Kores or Pelikan but would the prices escalate...

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  4. This is a wonderful ribbon and a wonderful story. How nice that you decided to visit one more store. You found your local equivalent of the Cincinnati store Spitzfaden's.

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    1. Spinzfaden's sounds much more interesting! These stores are absolutely amazing... And those green ribbons are really whetting my curiosity!

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  5. This reminds me - I am planning a post later this week about finding ribbons. Especially in Europe, there is no reason to pay more than about two euros per ribbon! There are many cheap sources and personally I have stocked up enough for the next 10 years of typewriting :)

    Great news about your find!

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    1. That's a post I look forward to read! I have to find a good deal an stock up for the next years like you did :)

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  6. A good find and a good story to accompany it.
    You made the right decision to preserve the ribbon.

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    1. I also thin so! But on the other hand, I really want to try it out... Definitely I have to buy another one (or several more) just like this.

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  7. I am impressed that you can get red/blue ribbons!

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    1. In here they seem to be easier to find than single colored ribbons. And they are at same price that black/red ribbons.

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