Ode to a Typewriter -- a real one


Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2023
Pennsylvania, USA
“The sound of a typewriter is unmistakable. It resonates in a room, timelessly, through doors, into the world. ”

Wherein the author finds the joys of re-typing and shuns auto-correct.

I miss real typing.
oh yes how I miss stopping occasionally for the ritual un-jamming of the sticky keys.
That raucous metal clink clank as they stack one onto the other just before your fingers are stopped dead because the keys won't engage anymore.
The moment of panic when you see that jumble of keys--like a rat's nest--tangled together tight packed and oh no are they bent now.
The sigh of relief when you pull away your ink smeared fingers and they start to fall back into place.
Wiping the hands and then carefully touching up the cratered spot with white out.
Oh how I so so--do not miss that.
Awwwwwwwww y'all miss the spirit of it. Most certainly not the wite out nor the cutting and pasting (OY! have I got a story about that...) but there was something to feel of it and the sound and the rhythm.
The bloody fingertips not so much. An honorary uncle in my life was the Pulitzer Prize winning author Conrad Richter. He always showed up for visits with adhesive tape on each of his finger tips. As a child, I thought that quite glamorous.

But perhaps my favorite typewrite story has to do with the old IBM Selectric in which the conventional basket of type bars was replaced by
a golf-ball-shaped type head. These heads were interchangeable to permit typing in a variety of fonts.

In the office where I worked there was a 15-woman typing pool, run by, Betty, an extra-large woman with a voice to shatter glass. The entire floor of 50 or more workers came to a dead stop when after a heated discussion with one of the project managers Betty told him that there was no way he could have his document in that font shouting, "I haven't got the balls for it!"
I don't miss typing the entire 400 page manuscript of my novel eight times during the initial submission and feedback editing period. It was hard work.

I still didn't sell the bloody thing, but fortunately I put it aside for a few years and typed the ninth version into a computer. It still didn't sell, but an even later - easily edited - version did.
I took a typewriting class is Junior High and my dyslexia was so bad that, "Ha his it gong tody?" was the best I could do!
But your right. When I do hear one today it does bring back memories. :)
So where is the app that makes typewriter sounds thru the PC speakers as the user types?
I use a typewriter style keyboard and love it. No way would I voluntarily go back to an actual typewriter, though
Lately I've been thinking about the song "Nine to Five" in the movie by the same name. And I wonder if anyone under 30 even understands what those little bell sounds are.

I had a typewriter that you literally had to pound the keys to make it work. I never had or used an electric typewriter. Made the jump from manual typewriter straight to computer and never looked back.

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