I have spent many years shipping
typewriters and having them shipped to me.
I have come to the conclusion that very few people really understand
how to properly pack typewriters for shipping.
Probably over 50% of the typewriters I receive through the major carriers
are damaged to the point of being ruined. Not through lack of care of the
shippers, (who do a very good job at what they do), but through a lack of
You must remember several things when you are preparing a package for shipping:
- Your package will be turned upside down, sideways, thrown, dropped
and have things stacked upon it. Many, many times. Count on it.
- Your package will be handled by someone trying to meet a schedule
and not too concerned with what the contents of each box are.
You must prepare your typewriters for the rigors they will endure while
in transit. I recommend the following tips for packing:
- Secure all moving parts. Use string, nylon ties, twisty ties, whatever
it takes. Lock down those parts! Use special care to secure the carriage.
Don't cause damage by over tightening though. (I use saran wrap around
the whole typewriter after I have done step 2)
- Loosely pack crumpled newspaper or bubblewrap in the type basket to
keep the type bars from moving around while in transit.
- Put sheet of paper with shipping addresses, both return and addressee,
- Make sure that if possible, to lock down the typewriter in the case.
Pack crumpled newspaper or bubble wrap in all empty areas of case to cushion
the typewriter should it come free from the case while in transit.
- Wrap the case itself in several layers of bubble wrap and packing tape
after securely closing it.
- Pack the case in a rugged corrugated cardboard box with a minimum of
4-5 inches clearance on all sides. Fill these spaces (including underneath
the typewriter), with styrofoam or bubble wrap or lots of crumpled newspaper.
Fill tightly and fully. This step is important.
- Put sheet of paper with shipping addresses inside box, taped on case
- Seal case securely along all seams with LOTS of heavy duty packing tape.
- Mark package as "Fragile" and which side is the "Top".
This won't guarantee it will be handled any differently, but if you don't
mark it, they won't even try!
For desktop machines, follow all of the above steps, but subsitute a heavy
duty cardboard box for the case the portable rests in. Then package the box
in a second heavier box as per the instructions above. (IE: double box it,
carefully and well, as the boxes could break and the heavier desktop could
move to the outer box or even break through if not packaged well.)
A visual guide for packing your typewriter can be seen here.
United Parcel Service (UPS)
is my shipper of choice, both for quality and value. Be sure to insure the
typewriter for full value. Shipping insurance is worth every penny, use it.
- Mr. Typewriter