I had not bought a typewriter in 5 years when the bug bit me again. I was happy with my Royal and Remington, plus a couple of Smith Coronas to lend out to people who saw my typers and wanted to try out the typewriter thing. But I’ve seen Naked Lunch, and I know perfectly well what happens to typewriters that get lent out. I don’t risk exposing my main writin’ irons to that fate, but you can try out a Smith Corona! Anyway, both my Smith Coronas were out on loan and I started thinking about getting another loaner since I was pretty sure one of the Smiths was never coming back. I’d been out of the typewriter scene for quite awhile so I figured I’d read up a bit and see what was the latest news before going out shopping. This is where I learned about the Hermes 3000. Loads of blog posts about how everyone who has one loves it, how featurefull they are and how dreamy it is to type on one. Well, I do remember having seen a couple of them in thrift stores over the past decade, but I’d passed on them because they weren’t in great shape and were invariably painted a weird green color halfway between mint green and battleship grey. I was holding out for black, but I have since found out that black isn’t an option on these fine Swiss-made typers. Well, alright then. Green it is!
First stop was Ebay. Selection was wide and varied. Prices were all over the place, but usually absurd. Descriptions were nonexistent to outright lies. Careful analysis of photos showed many “perfect specimens” to have missing parts, flattened or shredded platens or major cosmetic defects. Ok, can’t trust that den of theives, so where next? I did a day’s run of thrift stores but Swiss typewriters, while not rare, are not common enough that your town’s thrift stores are going to always have one in stock on a particular day. Strike 2, where next? Craigs List turned out to be the winner, listing exactly one pristine Hermes 3000 at a location less than 5 miles away that was priced within my “dinner at Outback” price range. I made the call, drove over and snatched it out from under the nose of another very interested buyer who had unfortunately expressed his interest via email instead of the phone. Ha! You snooze, you lose.