A Different L.A.: Jesse and the Typewriter Shop

FORM follows FUNCTION is a collaborative media studio creating non-fiction, short format videos connecting architecture, people and place.


This week's video features Jesse Flores, whose life's work has helped keep typewriters alive and running in the city of Los Angeles. May of 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of his office machine repair business.

Opening "U.S. Office Machines" in 1962 in Highland Park (and since then operating from three different locations on Figueroa Street), his is one of the oldest businesses in the neighborhood, and also one of the last remaining typewriter repair shops in the city.

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Before Flores' recent passing, we were fortunate to capture a few moments with him in front of his shop.* And just this month, we caught up with his son, Ruben, who is now the heir of his father's business along with his brother, Danny. He talks about the hyper speed of today's technology, how typewriters are once again relevant, and how lucky they are that Jesse held onto all those old machines.

This piece is dedicated to Jesse Flores (December 15, 1921 - November 8, 2011).


U.S. OFFICE MACHINES
5722 N. Figueroa Street
Highland Park, California


*Parts of the video were recorded during the "Folk Art Everywhere" walking tour of Highland Park in March 2011.

FORM follows FUNCTION is a collaborative media studio creating non-fiction, short format videos connecting architecture, people and place. As an open studio, FfF seeks to collaborate with people (architects, designers, and dwellers alike) who are interested in telling unique stories around the built environment, the places around them, and its impact on people's lives.


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About the Author

FORM follows FUNCTION is a collaborative media studio creating non-fiction, short format videos connecting architecture, people and place. As an open studio, FfF seeks to collaborate with people (architects, designers, and dweller...

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Nice vid and a handy reminder of how many stories lurk in the community cracks in an historic neighborhood like Highland Park. I especially appreciate Jesse's warmth in talking about his dad - surely a huge figure in his life. Clearly the time spent with the elder brought the younger Mr. Flores insight and appreciation into dad - a great story for upcoming fathers' day.