Typewriter business may have market cornered | News

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Typewriter business may have market cornered

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- If a TV breaks, typically it's easiest to buy a new one.

If the printer won't print, it seems most times folks will toss it and get a new one.

We live in a time where people are quick to update new technology with newer, and throw out the broken stuff. But Bill Pridgen slows down and fixes it.

"You gotta make it work," Pridgen said. "I got machines from all over the country to fix."


"And I actually stay busy most of the time," Pridgen said.

If you were wondering where all the typewriters have gone, you need look no farther than inside the McDavid Typewriter Service shop.

Wall-to-wall and from floor to ceiling typewriters representing every decade all the way back to the 1890s are stored.

Most of them waiting their turn on Pridgen's workshop repair table for paying customers.

"And most of our customers have been the same ones we've had for years."

He's been in the typewriter business since 1955. 

He spent time in the army, then opened his own shop at the corner of Roosevelt and Plymouth in 1970.

It's the same place he's doing business today.

"It was a really good business in the 70s, 80s, and mid 90s," but he said that's when things began to die down.

"I still cover my expenses and make a little spending money," Pridgen said.

He does plenty of repairs and even some sales.

"The FSCJ drama club came and rented some old machines I have to use as props in a play," he said.

Though his wife has asked him to hang up the tool belt and slow down, he won't do it.

"Nope," he said. "I still love it. Yeah, I sure do."

McDavid Typewriter Service is at 4304 Plymouth Street in Jacksonville. You can reach them at 904-384-3461.


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