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East Indianapolis business keeps typewriters clicking and clacking

Ron Saba forcefully snaps each key on an old Olympia typewriter he’s opened up on his workbench. Meticulously, he wipes down the letters and sprays some sewing machine oil into the mechanics. When ribbons fail to reverse and rollers harden into a concrete-like consistency, Ron Saba is one of the few people willing to dive in and get an old typewriter back in shape.

Circle Business Equipment services a lot of old-school and modern business machines, but Saba is particularly passionate about old electric and manual typewriters. When this reporter wanted to unfreeze his 1960’s Underwood 5 manual typewriter, and his 1970’s era Olympia, he found Saba. Turns out, Saba has a booming business of clients who still view typing a note as an efficient way to communicate.

“Most of my customers are in the elderly group,” Saba says with a wry smile. “They don’t like the new-fangled electronics or don’t like the computers, but there are still a lot of new kids who are getting into vintage typewriters and enjoy the actual sound and the mechanics of the machines themselves.”

Saba learned to type when he was a student and was repairing IBM Selectric machines. I asked him if he attaches any romance to the clack, clack, clack of banging out copy on a manual typewriter.

“I absolutely do, yes,” Saba confirms.

Saba charges around seventy dollars to give an old typewriter a tune-up. Additional parts and labor can add to that fee. For additional information, check out the Circle Business Equipment website here: