Posts Tagged ‘manual typewriters’

While I’m working on something more meaty, here’s a bit of fun.

Like most people my age, I learned to type on a manual typewriter, an old Smith-Corona, to be precise. It was heavy — damned heavy — and came in its own nearly-as-heavy hard-sided case. It had a black-and-red ribbon that always got twisted, the keys continually got hooked onto one another, and after typing up an evening’s homework, my forearms ached from the physical exertion of pressing down the keys. That’s no exaggeration; it took some oomph to make those levers thwack with enough force to register through to the carbon copy.

What’s a carbon copy, you ask? Well, it’s a … nope, I don’t have time or space to explain it all. (more…)

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Ribbon vibrator. Platen roller. Type bar. Paper finger. Guide pointer.

Know what I’m talking about?

Smith-Corona. Remington. Underwood. Royal.

With me now?

I’m talking about typewriters. Manual typewriters. Old-fashioned, heavy, noisy, mechanical machines driven by the power of your fingers. Yes, those lovely old clackety-clack behemoths that used to be ubiquitous but now only exist as props in crime novels and on the “collectible” sections of eBay.

If you’re old (like me), you either love them or hate them. Otherwise, you may never have even seen one of these miracles of low-tech machinery, much less experienced the aching hands that come from a long session of literally “pounding the keyboard.”

I happen to love these old machines. As it turns out, so does Tom Hanks.


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