Description[Larry McMurtry]. Pair of Hermes 3000 Typewriters. [Yverdon, Switzerland: E. Paillard, circa 1963-1970]. Larry McMurtry's typewriters, one stationed in Archer City, Texas, and the other in Washington, D. C., both used to write Lonesome Dove. Each measures approximately 13.5 x 13 x 5.5 inches and weighs approximately sixteen pounds. Original pale green bodies and keys, each in its original case. Both are in very nice condition, obviously given the care they need over the years, with only a few scuffs and light rubbing to the cases (one with a small blue ink mark).
The E. Paillard & Company, which manufactured music boxes in the nineteenth century, opened a factory in Yverdon, Switzerland and began production on typewriters in the 1920s, eventually releasing its first portable typewriter in 1933, the Hermes 2. It improved on the concept over the next several years with the Hermes Baby in 1935, Hermes Media in 1936, the Hermes 2000 with automatic margins in 1939, Hermes Baby Jubilee in 1940, and finally the Hermes 3000 in 1958. Hermes 3000 has been McMurtry's preferred brand of typewriter throughout his career, having owned several. He considers them such an integral part of his writing that in his acceptance speech after winning the 2006 Golden Globe for co-writing the screenplay adaptation of Brokeback Mountain, he promised to give a "big, wet kiss" to his Hermes 3000. Even today, when digital technology is all but inescapable, McMurtry continues to write five pages per day on a Hermes 3000 typewriter, no more and no less, to avoid "the empty well."
It was on these exact typewriters that Larry McMurtry wrote his opus, Lonesome Dove. While it was originally developed as a feature film titled The Streets of Laredo in 1972, the plans fell through, and the rights to the work returned to McMurtry. He eventually expanded the story of Gus McCrae and Captain Woodrow Call into an epic novel and re-titled it Lonesome Dove. In a 2014 interview with Mother Jones, McMurtry admitted that one of the reasons he wrote Lonesome Dove was to "demythologize" the Old West and "understand [his] father," a cattle rancher who had hoped that his studious young son would become a veterinarian. Published in 1985, the book would go on to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and be adapted as the classic 1989 mini-series starring Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall. The mini-series was nominated for eighteen Emmy Awards, of which it was awarded seven.
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