Yesterday we continued our drive through scenic Iowa.
The first stop I mapped out for the day was an antique mall in Des Moines, IA.
Brass Armadillo Antique Mall – Des Moines
701 NE 50th Ave, Des Moines, IA 50313
This was another of these huge spaces with a zillion vendor stalls. We combed the rows methodically.
This poor old Underwood 5 below was completely frozen with rust. The carriage and keys and everything were immobile. It actually looks better in this picture than it was. Could be a nice project machine.
I got really excited when I saw the case below from afar. I got up to it and it was empty. It’s for a mimeograph machine (and the mimeograph was nowhere to be seen, just the case).
I turned a corner and ran into this chipper fellow. He was at least 18 inches tall. How I wanted to bring him home.
Taped to his stand was a Facit button that said, “The future is Facit”. No arguments here.
I did pick up this Facit button for $8. I plan to wear this to fancy dress-up typewriter events though I will feel like a bit of a fraud. I don’t own a Facit, and I have never even gotten to play with one. Maybe somewhere between here and the SF Bay Area I will find a Facit. I hear that they are really nice.
We continued driving through Iowa and then I started seeing billboards for Walnut: Iowa’s Antique City. Well, heck. We can’t miss that. I knew that we couldn’t stay long. I am trying to stick to a schedule so that I am not driving when the sun gets low in the sky. We are heading due west, and afternoon sun in the eyes is hard to take.
So we popped into this adorable little antique town in the middle of Iowa.
Between the two malls we popped into, we saw only one typewriter and two toy typewriters:
We really needed to make tracks, so we hit the road. I wish we had more time to explore more shops.
We hopped back into the car and headed to Nebraska. Over the Missouri river we went and we crossed the state line. Next stop: an antique mall in Lincoln, Nebraska:
Aardvark Antique Mall
5800 Arbor Rd, Lincoln, NE 68517
This was another of those enormous big box antique malls. The lady at the counter said that there were 250 booths at this mall.
This totally makes sense in terms of supply chain dynamics: antique mall and self storage.
I feel like the typewriters at this antique mall need to branch out colorwise:
Honestly – I do not need to move those speckled cups and open that case because I know what’s in there: a tannish-grayish Sears Communicator.
I just about kissed this S-C Super Sterling when I saw it because it was definitely blue.
We took to the road again and arrived safely at our destination of Grand Island, Nebraska. We made it in before ferocious thunderstorms rolled through.
The drive has been very pleasant thanks to typewriter diversions, agreeable company, good weather, polite drivers, and light traffic. These roads in Iowa and Nebraska run for miles in front of you. We are heading straight west.
16 thoughts on “Typewriters of Iowa and Nebraska: Day the Third”
Why were those blah colors so popular in the mid-20th century?
I wouldn’t have bought any of these, but I enjoy the virtual safari. Hope you find a cheap and lovely Facit on your way!
Like Nick, I much prefer these typewriters in black. In the 50s, black must have seemed old-fashioned. Perhaps people saw the browns and grays as modern but not too edgy – they were sober and professional colors.
Love these trip reports!
Also, nice load of Facit swag, I also hope you find a nice TP on the trip too (or I guess one that needs love, because that would be more interesting to you) (:
Well, I found one that needs some love and bought it today – stay tuned for the next exciting chapter of The Typewriters across America Experience.
l’m loving these trip reports, too, and I’m already looking forward to the next one. So, do you bring along a blank sheet of paper for a quick typing test at each mall? I’ve started doing that.
Ordinarily I carry around a few sheets of paper in my purse just in case I run into a typewriter somewhere – always prepared. However, I haven’t been doing any type testing on blank paper on this trip because of time constraints – some of these malls are HUGE.
Nice price for that Rem Standard. Think how nice all of those 1950s vintage machines would have looked in gloss black finish, a la their prewar relatives!
Walnut, Iowa — I heard of that place watching Antiques Roadshow the other day. A lady bought something from one of the stores there that turned out to be worth quite a bit — can’t recall what it was. But maybe I’ll have to go there sometime.
I’m enjoying your roadtrip vicariously!
I saw a billboard for Walnut and decided to stop at the last minute. I wish I had planned it better because there were a lot of shops in town – I just happened to hit two with almost no typewriters.
Nice typewriter tour. Most of the prices are way too high except for the KMG. The Facit guy is neat, but not nearly neat enough for that price.
I wish that the orange Facit guy was a bit less expensive – he seems like he would have been a fun roadtrip companion.
Please tell me you bought that gorgeous Cutlass..I probably would have paid twice that if I had to for one of those
Oh golly, I didn’t! It was really boss.
I have been following these posts religiously. There are a couple I’d consider getting. I’m waiting for the Big Score….
You and me both! I am hoping to make the Big Score before the end of the trip.
There’s a place here in Savannah with that mimeograph, fully intact with lid. $250. I want it so bad, but I have no space right now.
A mimeograph would be a lot of fun to play with. It would give me reason to use the stencil setting on my typewriters.