When I was collecting supplies in our stock room located in the basement of my workplace the other day, I stumbled upon an array of discarded items stacked on a table in the corridor. Someone was obviously cleaning out their offices and left some of the old, unused objects outside. What caught my eye was an old typewriter.
Upon closer inspection I realized that this was a "step up" technology and would be classified as IBM Selectric typewriter, occasionally known as the IBM Golfball typewriter. It was an electric typewriter first introduced in 1961, but I believe the one featured here must have been a more modern type.
I have fond memories of these grand old machines. My grandmother was proficient at using one and I recall taking typewriting classes in school as teenager. I bet they do not run those anymore. Those typewriters were electric as well and we even had tests and were graded on the speed with which we typed and the typos we made. I used to do quiet well and could type with all the fingers of my hands and without looking at the keyboard. Or the character board, if you will. Today all this skill has gone lost. I type with one finger of each hand, looking somewhat ridiculous and I have to look at the keyboard of my laptop at all times. And I make typos in pretty much all words.
I used to keep an old, small, red and black manual typewriter in my first, tiny apartment as well. I honestly do not know where it was from, but I believe it to have belonged to my parents. It was a small but a more sturdy machine than the electric one and I had to use a bit more force to strike the keys, making my typing to be of the angry kind. It was a frustrating process as I hated making mistakes. I recall the endless retyping of documents and lots of vocal exclamation while typing, as I wanted a clean sheet without any errors.
How absurd it all seems today, in the height of the computer era, when any mistakes can be deleted with a key stroke, and be gone as if they never existed at all. Additionally, the software suggests words and even checks spelling mistakes. In multitude of languages.
Times has certainly changed in just a few decades.
In any case, this dear old, almost ancient typewriter of mine is by now long gone. I have no idea what happened to it actually, but to this day it is linked to sentimental memories of mine. I recall the absolutely last time I used it in the spring of 91, to type my first resume and my application for the position that I later obtained at Duke University in the US.
I never used a typewriter again or since.