On December 15, Heritage Auctions will be kicking off their Historical Platinum Session Signature® Auction, which will include Steve Soboroff’s storied typewriter collection. 33 typewriters are going up for auction, including those used by writers Jack London, Tennessee Williams, George Bernard Shaw, Ray Bradbury, John Updike and Philip Roth, as well as other cultural icons like Greta Garbo, Shirley Temple, Mae West, Julie Andrews, Tom Hanks, Bing Crosby, Andrea Bocelli, Hugh Hefner, and, um, the Unabomber. Soboroff’s collecting rule was that—with the exception of the historically significant 1887 Crandall New Model—the owners of the typewriters had to have appeared on the cover of Time.
“To me, these typewriters were like Picasso’s paintbrushes,” said Soboroff in a press release. “A lot of these people swore these typewriters helped with their writing. Bocelli wrote to me on that typewriter in Braille and said it was a partner in creating his poetry. Harold Robbins’ wife told me you couldn’t get through to him when he was on that typewriter. He would become the character he was writing about. These typewriters were their partners.”
One of them can be yours next month—but in the meantime, take a peek at a few famous people’s typewriters here: