As long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with machines. Cogs and gears and wheels and pistons and springs and pulleys. When I was young, I was obsessed with steam engines and since then, my tastes have always taken a bent toward the old fashioned. I was always the kid taking apart pens to see how they worked and then losing a piece and never being able to put them back together.

Now, I collect manual typewriters and own a working turntable. Their workings are beautiful in their complexity; the way the tiny pieces all work in unison. And while I love my laptop computer and my smartphone and the miracle of the .mp3 (I’m very much a child of the millennium), when I’m searching for inspiration, I return to my rusty relics.

Why? Why are these items — largely rendered obsolete by the fast march of technical progress — still so captivating? Maybe it’s the craftsmanship on display that catches my eye. Maybe it’s a lingering, childlike wonder about how things work. Maybe it’s their ability to outlast their modern counterparts.

I love living in the future, but I also like ties to the past. I don’t think that’s a contradiction. I don’t know why I am the way I am, but there’s nothing wrong with being a little nostalgic for a time before I lived and to think, now and again, about the machine age that we’ve left behind.

— 30 —

Jonny Eberle is a throwback writer living in Flagstaff, AZ. When he’s not absorbed in one of his peculiar antiques and envisioning a tech noir future, you can find him tweeting his thoughts: @jonnyeberle. Thanks for reading.

Related Posts:
Love Letter to a Typewriter
Summer Nights
Flash Fiction Friday: Running Away

Published by Jonny Eberle

Writer, photographer, blogger and filmmaker in the City of Destiny. You can find my blog at

Please leave your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: