non-existence of printer collectors...proven wrong

Jay West jwest at
Sat Jan 26 11:29:59 CST 2008

I have about 6 or so early dos era printers that some may consider 
collectible. They were the most common ones in the early days on apples, 
early PC's, etc. Think epson, star, okidata, etc. I myself do not consider 
them collectable, and would LOVE to get rid of them to a good home.

In my office at home I use a HP LaserJet 4+ with options: extended capacity 
lower tray, duplexer, maximum memory, and large capacity power envelope 
feeder. It's in good shape, but I do have the full service docs on it and 
will do anything I can to keep it running forever. A similar printer with 
large capacity envelope printer (what I use/need most) would be very 
expensive these days, and be basically a hunk of plastic junk anyways. I'll 
stick with the battleship laserjet 4+ :) I don't consider this collectible, 
but certainly won't get rid of it!

I do have one printer that is (to me) quite collectible. An HP 2610A 
printer. Every bit of 350 pounds, a floorstanding monster about 5 foot long. 
I haven't torn into it yet to restore it, but all you have to do is look at 
the large motors in it and know it's a "real" printer. Several of the belts 
in the printer are as large and thick as the belts in my lawn and garden 
tractor. The buttons on top very much remind one of the old mainframe style 
pushbuttons. I have fond memories of getting my printouts off a 2610 back in 
high school from the 2000/Access machine. Since it's such a mechanical 
beast, I'm a little unsure of my skills to refurbish it but I will try. It 
had a very particular sound when printing and I'd love to hear it again.

I guess if you're going to include printing terminals, I do have a mint 
Decwriter (LA120) but who doesn't. Oh, and a highly collectable Data General 
TP2! Those are just cute - and I believe it has the guts of a nova computer 
in the base for control. Picture here:

I wouldn't think that qualifies me as a "printer collector" though. But I do 
like having the correct (or at least period correct) user interface devices 
on my machines.

Jay West

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