Actor Tom Hanks Gifts Philly Typewriter with Historic Machine

Courtesy of Punch Media
photos courtesy of Philly Typewriter

Philly Typewriter, one of the country’s premier destinations for typewriter restoration, preservation, and sales located on bustling East Passyunk Avenue, is now exhibiting a 1953 East German Rheinmetall Gs typewriter that was recently gifted to the business by acclaimed actor Tom Hanks. Hanks is well known within the typewriting community for both his love of typewriters and his propensity to donate the analogue devices to loving homes. 

Hanks published a collection of short stories called “Uncommon Type” in 2017. Each of the seventeen stories within the collection were written by Hanks on a different one of his many typewriters, further cementing his love of the hobby in the public eye. It was on tour for “Uncommon Type” that Hanks first learned of Philly Typewriter. He immediately recognized their standout value for typists everywhere, stating in an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer “You have a national resource right here in Philadelphia!” when referring to Philly Typewriter. 

“Something we’re all very emphatic about at Philly Typewriter is how these machines encourage human connection,” says store manager Bill Rhoda. “How two people who have never met or spoken a word to one another now have something in common, sent with intention and received with care, whether a letter or machine.”

The machine Hanks donated has a fascinating history beyond its previous owner that Rhoda is excited to share as part of the shop’s gallery space, which he refers to as the “Please Touch Museum of Typewriters”. Guests and visitors will have the opportunity to interact and type on Hanks’ donation, alongside other display machines, at the East Passyunk Avenue storefront during regular business hours. 

Philly Typewriter also repairs, refurbishes, and sells typewriters by appointment, in addition to hosting educational seminars, type-ins, and other community events.

Philly Typewriter is located at 1735 E Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA. For information on Philly Typewriter, including hours of operation, restorations, consultation appointments, and more — visit

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