Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Just my Type

To my wonderful readers:  you know I'm all about the vintage ephemera and yes, all of the nostalgia that accompanies it.  But there is one item that, while I adore the idea, I am eternally grateful that it's not a part of my daily routine.

That item is the typewriter. 

I have always loved typewriters.  Every once in a while my mom would let us use their manual Royal; it never lasted long, though, because it was too hard to press the keys (I still have a hard time with that - must be the weak-finger gene).  When I got into high school, I enrolled in typing class - in 1984 the PC was still a very expensive luxury for most people and the IBM Selectric ruled the day. 

I would love to tell you that my fingers flew at 80 wpm with nary an error;  I would be lying.  I was (and am) a terrible typist.  For one, my attention span at 15 wasn't the sharpest and I would constantly lose my place while typing out the exercises.  I was also distracted by how fast the other kids were typing and would get psyched out (it turns out that the rapid typing from the boy sitting next to me was nothing but gibberish; he would just type anything because he knew he was failing) .  I am not proud to tell you that I received a "D" in the class.  Thankfully, in five short years it wouldn't mean a thing.
When it first arrived on the scene the typewriter must've seemed heaven-sent; imagine the amount of time saved in comparison to writing everything in long hand!  Of course, only men were deemed fit to operate these marvels at first; it wasn't until the "modern" office that women took over the duty.  Nowadays the only people you hear about using typewriters are reclusive novelists or old-school journalists (who apparently have no deadline). 

I would be lost without the invention of the PC.  If it were never invented I would've had to stockpile Ko-Rec-Type.   I don't think I'd have the patience to type my blog entries on a typewriter - it would take me half the day!

But oh, how I love the mid-century typewriter culture!  The beautiful ribbon boxes, the typewriter repair forms, the typing manuals - all wonderful.  All promise an efficient, well-run office.  And for you Mad Men fans, who didn't love the early episodes where the removal/replacement of the typewriter dust jacket signified the beginning/end of the work day?

I also love using the typewriter and its accoutrements in my artwork!  Here are a few examples:


  1. LOVE the typewriter artwork....

    I too learned on the Selectric, and because I love to type, I wish I still had one. Thanks for stirring up memories of high school typing class. I would have been one of those students with flying fingers! Sorry!

    I go appreciate the speed and ease of a PC most of the time, but there are still times I miss a good old fashioned typewriter.

  2. Ha! I think typing was the only class my brother ever got more than a C+ in. He barely squeaked by but (amazingly) got an A- at the typewriter. It was a good thing, too, because no one could read his writing.