“Sweet Spot,” by Mike Sugerman

MOONACHIE, N.J. (WCBS 880) — Meet, Max.

He’s a millennial. He’s also my son.

He’s bright, worldly and can do pretty much anything he wants on a computer.

But I put him in front of a typewriter.

“I seriously don’t know how to do this,” he said.

A typewriter? What’s the point?

Dominic Vespia is among the few that might be able to tell him.

“We just make electronic typewriters,” he explained.

Yepp, he makes typewriters in Moonachie, New Jersey.

The company is called Swintec, and it’s the last of its kind in America and likely the world.

“I know the last company to go out of the typewriter business was Brother, and that happened last year sometime,” Vespia said.

But he’s still in it. When he started in 1959, there were 26 other companies.

I was surprised there’s still one. Who buys these things?

“Prisons are my biggest niche right now, because I have what they call a clear cabinet typewriter, a typewriter you can see through,” Vespia said.

Prisoners can’t use personal computers, so Swintec sells its $200 clear cabinet typewriters to them – clear so there’s no contraband possible.

It is a captive audience. They aren’t going anywhere.

One of the biggest customers?

“Like the son of Sam, buys a lot of stuff,” Vespia said.

He’s in regular contact with David Berkowitz, who is probably a better typist, even after 58 years in the typewriter business.

“I can’t type,” he admits with a laugh. “Unfortunately, I never took the time to learn how to type… I’m serious. I hunt and peck.”

It doesn’t matter, though. At Swintec he has other people to fill out forms on computers. Even they don’t use typewriters.

Find more from the “Sweet Spot” here.


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