Typewriters

I’m not sure what it is about typewriters that I find so appealing. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a pre-computer era, and I learned to type on one.

My mother had a manual typewriter, which she did not allow me to play with; she wanted me to learn how to properly type and not be hampered by the hunt-and-peck method that would be hard to unlearn. (Mom’s post-high school training was at business school; she served for a few years as a secretary, before she started having babies.)

I finally took that typing class when I was in the tenth grade, and by that time, got to learn on an electric typewriter. That may have been the most practical class I ever took, and it ended up being an income-generator when I was a freshman in college and friends paid me to type their papers for them.

By the time I graduated from college, I had been introduced to word processing; it was still pre-Microsoft days yet, but the miracle of the delete button and cut-and-paste techniques seemed miraculous to me, for whom Wite-Out® had previously been a lifesaver.

The typewriter has become for me a symbol of the writer’s life. The tapping of a computer keyboard may not be as distinctive (or disruptive) as the clacking of a typewriter’s keys, and preferable because of that. Maybe if I’d learned to copy my final papers on parchment with a fountain pen, this would be my nostalgic writing instrument of choice. I grew up watching movies and TV shows where reporters and novelists tapped away on their typewriters, generating brilliant articles and stories. That’s what I wanted to do when I grew up. So now I do that on my laptop. 🙂

An artist acquaintance painted a series of typewriters, and this is the only original artwork I have ever purchased. Isn’t it cool?

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Delia says:

    OMG! I so want that painting! I have an unnatural affinity toward typewriters, too. In my last paying job (before motherhood), I had a computer on my desk, but the office hadn’t installed any software on it for my department, so I was still working on an IBM Selectric. Am I dating myself?

    1. Amy says:

      No more than I am! And I just checked out your blog—I love the typewriter-like font on your header. 🙂

  2. Carol says:

    Very, Very Cool. I have my Dad’s Royal typewriter and my own typewriter, right in my office, in the closet. I, too learned to type on a typewriter and took the typing course. My husband has me type things if I am around, he hunts and pecks. The best course ever in school. Everyone needs typing skills.

    Very, Very cool painting. Oh, I said that already. Jealous a little bit too.

  3. Very cool. My favorite necklace is one my best friend bought me from Etsy – its made from a letter key from an antique typewriter and it is awesome.

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