Antique Typewriters

The Martin Howard Collection


Martin and his typewriters have been featured in the media and his collection exhibited at museums and special events. If you would like to interview him, show his collection, or are interested in the exhibiting of his typewrites please contact him.



CBC News

"Timeline Magazine (with some English)"
Fairchild TV, 2015

"My Escape"
Global Prime, 1998

"Breakfast Television"
City TV, 2003






Newsletters (by Martin Howard) - Discontinued



  • MZTV Muesum, Toronto - 2015

    ‘Keyed Up, Switched On, Logged In’
    The story of the birth of modern communication through the union of two of the most powerful inventions in history.

    I had approached Moses Znaimer about doing a joint exhibit that would bring together early typewriters and televisions to celebrate how these two major inventions would lend themselves to another most important invention, the personal computer. He liked the idea and the exhibit ‘Keyed Up, Switched On, Logged In’ was created.

    Introduction to Martin Howard and his collection at the MZTV Museum.

    Read an article about the exhibit at


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The Exhibit The Exhibit
The Exhibit The Exhibit

  • Consumer Electronic Show, Las Vegas - 2015

    The World's First typewriters seen at the CES.

    Show Media the parent company of TYPO Products, the maker of the TYPO2 keyboard for the iPhone, invited me to display and present 25 of my typewriters at their booth at the 2015 Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas.

    This was certainly the last thing that people expected to see amongst all the gadgetry and high tech communication devices but people reacted with such joy and excitement that many stayed for over half an hour to check out the typewriters and to speak with me. It was an exhilarating time.

    Show Media CEO Laurence Hallier had this to say.

    "Martin Howard has 100 cylinders, he spoke to every single person with just as much passion no matter who they were. Also Martin, your collection was the star of the show, truly something people appreciate and enjoyed."

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Martin and typewriter The Exhibit

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martin martin



  • International Festival of Authors in Toronto - 2010

    Antique typewriters, from the Martin Howard Collection, will be on display at the International Festival of Authors, Harbourfront, Toronto, October 20 – 30, 2010.

    This is what Margaret Atwood tweetered about the collection.

    Calling all Gadgetgeeks! Very early days of keyboards:
    It's like the Burgess Shales of Typewriters! Incredible!

    Now in its 31st year, the International Festival of Authors (IFOA) brings together the best writers of contemporary world literature for 11 days of readings, interviews, lectures, round table discussions, and public book signings each October.

    "I was delighted to learn of Martin's extensive and diverse typewriter collection. We are even more delighted to be able to showcase a portion of his holdings at the International Festival of Authors," said Geoffrey E. Taylor, Director of the IFOA.

    For a review of the event, click here.

  • Shaw Festival Theatre - 2010

    Four typewriters from the Martin Howard Collection will be displayed in the lobby of the Shaw Festival Theatre during the run of Age of Arousal by Linda Griffiths.  These typewrites are primary examples of the typewriters that were used by the first professional typists in the mid 1880s and reflect the period and setting of the play.

    'It’s 1885 in Age of Arousal, and in London there are half a million more women than men. Mary, an ex-suffragette, has opened a secretarial school for women to teach liberation through typing. When three sisters sign up, unexpected passions and secret desires are unleashed as they each learn what being a New Woman can truly mean.'

  • Toronto Pearson International Airport - 2008

    Early Typewriters - Gateway to the Information Age

    "Can you imagine typing without being able to see the paper? Or typing one character at a time by sliding a bar back and forth? Early Typewriters: Gateway to the Information Age presents the early history of typewriters. Over 40 machines from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century are featured in this exhibition."

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    Back of brochure

    • Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) - 2007-2008

      Early Typewriters - Gateway to the Information Age presents the renowned collection of Torontonian Martin Howard, the largest of its kind in Canada. These fascinating examples of early modern communications technology (1880s & 1890s) will be seen at the ROM until January 2008. There are twenty selected typewriters on display along with period ads and photographs.

      William Thorsell, Director and CEO of the ROM, conveyed the relevance of Howard’s collection as follows.

      "The Royal Ontario Museum became aware of the private collection of early typewriters owned by Martin Howard of Toronto, in 2006. Visiting the collection, we realized that this compilation of early writing machines was extensive, authoritative and beautifully cared for."

      “The collection illustrates mankind’s search for a solution to a challenge, the intriguing avenues explored, the beautiful means by which they were expressed and the technical proficiency of the age. The invention of the typewriter also speaks to social change, and the explosion of communications means in the 19th and early 20th Centuries.”

    • Markham Museum and Historic Village, ‘Ink to Internet’
      Markham, Ontario - 2007

    • The Toronto Vintage Paper Show
      The Barbara Frum Atrium, CBC Broadcast Centre, Toronto
      October - 2006
      Martin Howard, Toronto –
      a superb display of antique typewriters from his personal collection. The collection, comprised of typewriters from the very beginning of the typewriting industry, is the largest in Canada. The collection contains many rare and historically important typewriters, showing the remarkable diversity and beauty of the world’s first typing machines.

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    Martin received some fan mail after bringing his collection to the March 2006 paper show:

    Hi Martin. I just want to tell you that my little nephew, Julian (8), enjoyed meeting you and seeing all your typewriters at the Vintage Paper show held this past Sunday. He talked about the typewriters all the way home and told his mother how you too like to press buttons and what happened to you when you pressed the red button at the luggage carousel at the airport. He still has your business card, albeit somewhat mangled. Julian was quite taken with your typewriters. We may have a budding collector on our hands. Luckily you were at the show, as he was bored until he saw your machines. Thanks again for taking the time to talk to him and letting him use the machines. Luba

    • Benares Historic House, Visitor Centre
      Mississauga, Ontario - 2005

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    • Pavillon Jacques-Cartier, 'Montreal Breathes the Book'
      Montreal, Quebec - 2005

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    California Typewriter - a documentary by Doug Nichol - 2016

    Martin and his collection are featured in Doug Nichol’s full length documentary ‘California Typewriter’ which had its premiere at the 2016 Telluride Film Festival.

    The film explores the role of the typewriter in today’s popular culture, the creative relationships which people have with them and how the past is never far away. The film includes some well-known people who continue to use and admire manual typewriters. Among them are Sam Shepard, John Mayer, David McCullough, and Tom Hanks.

    There’s an overview on how the film got made in Marin Independent Journal.

    Here’s a review from the Hollywood Reporter.


    Crimson Peak - Directed by Guillermo del Toro - 2015

    The Props Master working on Guillermo del Toro's film Crimson Peak, needed a portable typewriter from 1910 that would be a gift to the lead actress, an author, from her husband. The typewriter that they used from my collection was the Standard Folding 1. An intriguing little machine with a carriage that folds over onto the keyboard, allowing it to fit into a very small box.



      "Renowned Canadian pianist Anton Kuerti stars in quirky short film for Bravo!"

      The film plays on the visual correspondence between an antique typewriter and a grand piano and the pun of Kuerti and the QWERTY keyboard, all during a performance of a Scherzo, from a Beethoven Piano Sonata.

      The typewriter used is an Underwood 1 - 1896, from the Martin Howard Collection.