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June 03, 2018 10:16 PM

Just Your Type

Remember those clunky old typewriters that a lot of us or our parents or grandparents grew up with?  

In today's high tech world with computers and laptops, you might think the typewriter is obsolete, but this story might be 'Just Your Type'.   

In his little office at the corner of 23rd and Minnesota, Brian Feit of IBE has the type of work that keeps typewriters ticking.  

"You hear a lot of people say 'who uses typewriters anymore,' I get a lot of people who say that," Feit said.  

But oh you'd be surprised.

"You get law firms, hospitals, banks, every secretary used to have one years ago, now every office usually has one and they all share it, but when they go down, they really need it," Feit said. 

For 41 years, Feit has been fixing, repairing, and restoring old typewriters. 

It's really all he's done since he graduated from high school. 

"I did a lot of research on a career and I thought 'hey typewriter repair that's got to be a good one, they're never going to go away,' Feit said.  

Boy was he ever wrong, so he thought. 

In the 90's computers took over and for Feit the writing was on the wall.  His once guaranteed job of fixing typewriters was spelling t-r-o-u-b-l-e.  

But then like a lot of old things, people become fascinated with the past and have now been collecting them.  

"Everybody is so familiar with that sound you don't hear that on computers," Feit said. 

"I get them sent in from all over, people on eBay will order them and send them to me to have it completely refurbished, I have a lot of that, it's more of them collecting the antiques," Feit said. 

In fact, he says 50% of his business is antique typewriters.  

But fixing them isn't easy. 

"Because they are antiques, there are no parts available, you can't google a part for an early 1900's typewriter, so I have to manufacture it myself find a way to fix the problem and in most cases you have to MacGyver it and figure a way, you have to cut and sodder, but I get them going, and get them looking just as good as the day they rolled off the assembly line," Feit said. 

He works on seven to 10 typewriters a week.  In fact, he's been so busy lately; it's kept him from semi-retiring.

But he loves it.  Feit says it's more like a hobby than a job, because he enjoys working on them, especially the older ones, because they're all different and so are their problems. 

"As long as I've been in business you still run into a problem you've never seen before in my 41 years you say 'what the heck is this?' So I look at everyone as a challenge especially the old ones they can be quite a struggle to get them going, but when I do I feel good about it," Feit said. 

So as it turned out, the typewriter was the key to his success.  

Believe it or not Feit says he's a horrible typist, he just works on them.

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