Cool Spaces: A shop from another era

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Tick. Tick. Tick. Even outside the walls of the building, any person walking by can hear the classic sounds of a typewriter echoing from inside Universal Typewriter Shop.

At 80 years young, owner Edward "Smitty" Smith is a resilient and hardworking man, diligently fixing typewriters for a living, in his small but cool space located in Houston's historic Third Ward.

Starting his store in 1967, Smitty gladly accepts any typewriter in any condition so long as he has the opportunity to fix it. His low rate, $68.50 regardless of the problem, allows Smitty to enjoy the process of fixing a typewriter for its merit rather than its profit. As he simply states, "I'm doing this to stay alive."
For almost 50 years, Houston's most popular typewriter repairman stays busy despite modern technology. Smitty still has a steady stream of customers -some old, some new -all who cherish their typewriters.

Immediately upon walking through the door, a person becomes overwhelmed by the sheer number of typewriters. Typewriters swallow the entire store space, filling the room completely from floor to ceiling. If given the opportunity, a person could find practically every kind of typewriter within the shop, so long as they have the patience to look for it.

With a kind smile, Smitty poetically calls this experience, "tiptoeing through the typewriters, instead of tiptoeing through the tulips." Ding!

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