Thursday, March 04, 2010

To those who have never seen a typewriter…


This week, I had an occasion to use an actual, real-life typewriter.  It took some doing to find one in this building where I work.  Located about three that are still in use.  However, in my search, I had to send out a group e-mail and ask for help in finding said typewriter.  One sweet young thing wrote back and said she had never seen one used before.   And then, when I loaded my forms up and went over to type them up, another sweet young thing came out of her office to actually see the machine in action.

So, I wrote an ode to the best office machine of its day …. and sent this e-mail to everyone in honor of my showing sweet young thing #2 how life used to be:



I have now given one semi-official ELECTRIC TYPEWRITER DEMONSTRATION.  Today’s lesson: Typing backwards using the correction feature.  Am glad to give more lessons when and as needed.   

Or, for those feeling the nostalgia, we can put on our dinosaur costumes and meet on the 4th floor for old times’ sake and shed a tear for the demise of one of the world’s great inventions of ALL time – the IBM Correcting Selectric.  

Next lesson:  Carbon Paper and how not to get your fingers dirty.

Upcoming lessons: 

*Actually knowing how to spell and the invention of spell checker;

*How the “enter” key actually used to be called a “Hard Carriage Return”;

*Changing the courier font ball to a script font ball;

*The appropriate amount of time to wait for white-out to dry before resuming typing;

*How to change a ribbon and/or correction ribbon;

*The joys of the margin release” key;

*How many layers of carbon and onion skin paper can be used before the bottom layer is too faint for actual reading?

*The “6” key – use of the right hand vs. the left hand.

*The “continuous underline” key and the “continuous x” feature.

*QWERTY keyboarding – designed for your strongest fingers.

*Centering a line – place the font ball in the center of the page and count back one space for every two letters in the line you are about to type; with special emphasis on not letting someone distract you so that you will have to start counting all over again.

1 comment:

carmar76 said...

HAHAHAHAHA! This was great! I do payroll for my aunt's business, and up until this year, when it died, I used a delicious old typewriter for part of the process. I actually miss that thing, as it'd been a part of my life for 10+ years!