Tom Hanks once owned 'hundreds' of typewriters to make up for having 'nothing' from his childhood

Jordan Strauss/Invision/APTom Hanks plays the TV personality Fred Rogers in the coming film ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood.’
  • The actor Tom Hanks told The New York Times that he was an avid collector of typewriters and once owned “hundreds” of them.
  • “They’re brilliant combinations of art and engineering,” he said.
  • Hanks told The Times he got his first typewriter when he was 19 and had been collecting them ever since, as a way to stay grounded.
  • “I’m soothed by having it,” he said. “I’m soothed by knowing I can take it anywhere with me.”
  • But in recent years, Hanks has started giving away his typewriters, and he said he wanted to pare down to just one eventually. At the time of the interview, he was down to 120.
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Tom Hanks told The New York Times in a new profile that he had been collecting typewriters since he was a teenager – and that they once numbered in the “hundreds.”

“They’re brilliant combinations of art and engineering,” Hanks said of his appreciation for the machines, adding: “Every time you type something on a typewriter, it is a one-of-a-kind work of art.”

The “Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood” star said he started collecting when he was 19, as a means to stay grounded throughout frequent changes and moves in his life.

“I had nothing, actually, that stayed with me all through my life,” the actor, who moved around constantly while growing up, explained. “I don’t have anything from when I was 5 years old. I don’t have anything from when I was 3.”

Hanks said he eventually amassed a huge quantity of typewriters, in the hundreds as The Times referred to it, using them to write notes to friends and costars like Sally Field. He has even created an app, called Hanx Writer, that lets users type out a message in typewriter font.

But according to The Times, he’s started to give away some of his typewriters because he’s been feeling very stable, and he plans to cut down his current collection of 120 to just one specific model.

“I’m soothed by having it. I’m soothed by knowing that I can take it anywhere with me,” Hanks said of his fascination with typewriters.

Hanks stars as Fred Rogers in the coming film “A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood,” which is based on an Esquire article and details the efforts of a magazine writer to understand the motivations of the beloved children’s television host.

Read the full New York Times profile

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