...typing for peace, democracy, and the glory of the Typosphere
These questions finally went viral.
Interesting beginning. There comes a time when it sort of takes off doesn't there?
Glad to see you taking up the questions, Rob! What an interesting beginning to your typewriter collecting activities - I imagine the '80s as a halcyon time when every typewriter one can imagine, even the much older ones that are rare today, could be found inexpensively at flea markets and thrift stores. The story of your Blick Universal seems to bear this out!
It is becoming a census of the Typosphere - scary. I don't know about availability. I used to live in a city, Bradford, so the odds of house clearance items turning up at a fleamarket were pretty high - probably still are. But that was before eBay was invented. It is just a fleamarket, after all. I think all those machines are still out there in the wild - in fact there was a Blick Universal on UK eBay last week. At £56+shipping, and considering the condition it was in, I didn't consider it, even for old time's sake.
I was born in the same year you've bought your first typewriter. I gues I am as old as you collection :)