On Typewriters

A few months ago, I purchased a beautiful typewriter from the Letter Writers Association.  The color is what originally attracted me, but now that I have had the machine and have learned it's quirks, I am in love with it!  But my direct lack of knowledge of certain aspects of typewriter ownership have led me to a problem that I'm sure is easy to remedy, I just don't know how to do it.

You see, I was typing some letters on Saturday, enjoying the rhythm of keys clacking and the end of line bell chiming and the chigchigchigchigclick of return the carriage to a new line.  I was in the groove!  But, the ribbon on this typewriter is horrendously short.  I would type something like half a page of letter sized paper, and the ribbon would be at the end.

Thinking this to be a rather bit of a waste, I started rewinding the ribbon to use again.  It worked perfectly well, with the print still being legible and crisp with each rewind.  Until I ran into a slight problem... on my last rewind, the ribbon had torn in one place and had begun to fray.  I was typing away and then clunk, I could type no more.  By the time I realized it, I could see the ribbon had frayed, gotten hung up in the typing area, and I had to spend a good 30 minutes removing it and cleaning up my mess.

It got me thinking, could I have avoided it by not rewinding the ribbon?  Should I be reusing the ribbons?  Where on earth can I even get a replacement ribbon?  What happens if it breaks and I can't locate a place locally to get it repaired?  Earlier in the week I had mentioned on twitter that I needed to find a typewriter expert to ask these very basic questions to, and The Missive Maven pointed me to the blog Life in a Typewriter Shop.  I suppose now that I have access to the internet again, I should actually do it! 

Have you ever had to deal with a technology you know nothing about?  I'll be honest, I feel kind of silly asking questions about a typewriter... you'd think I would have figured it out by now.  But, my generation grew up with computers, and I had only ever really just played with a typewriter a few times as a kid  at my grandparent's house.