Jan Kaluza’s 30 year love affair with old office equipment has led to him opening the Typewriter Old Machines Museum in Tychy, 80 kilometres west of Krakow. The museum collection, a first for Poland, includes over 300 typewriters, counting machines and other assorted office equipment
According to Gazeta Wyborcza, in the 1970’s Kaluza received his first typewriter from his godmother, a Mignum AEG from 1908. It has a double keyboard for capital and small letters. Kaluza kept the typewriter maintained over the years and considered selling it as an antique but was disappointed in what people were willing to pay.
“In the beginning, nobody knew about my collection, not even members of my family” said Kaluza on the TV program “Tropiciele.” “I felt ashamed of my hobby.”
He always hoped one day he could share his passion with the world and in 2000 he went to the Warsaw collectors’ exhibition where his machines were a hit.
“For 2 days there were crowds” Kaluza told Gazeta Wyborcza. ” I was talking about my machines from 8am to 8pm. Even at night I was dreaming about the exhibition.”
Kaluza’s was inspired to make his hobby a full-time occupation after his work repairing Xerox machines became financially unviable.
Amongst the museum’s many gems are a Smith Premier 1 typewriter from 1895 and a German typewriter made in 1943 with a Nazi SS key.
Additionally there are Everest’s and Remington’s, all in working order with their own histories.
The museum is located at 18 Wojska Polskiego St. and is open from Tue-Sun from 10:00-16:00 with entry costing 4 zloty.