Monday, May 21, 2012

A Little Nostalgia

Once upon a time high school students, especially those college bound or those who intended to work in an office took a class called Typing 101 or something similar.  Today, children who are 3 are most likely proficient on a key board.

In those college days, we had need of a typewriter and the portable typewriter that I had borrowed from my brother needed to go back to him.  So, we bought this.

Yep, it was old even then, but it worked great -- for a manual typewriter.

Fortunately when I took Typing 101, we spent part of our time on manuals as the school only owned a couple of electric typewriters!  Yes, I know I'm dating myself, but our school was also a very small school in a small farming community.  My graduating class had 34 members!

See the little metal carriage return on the left of the typewriter.  Yikes, I was used to a longer one! A bell announced that you had hit the carriage return.  Imagine how that sounded in a room with a LOT of typewriters going at once!

This typewriter is really old, but I could not find a date on it anywhere.  It used a reel to reel silk typewriter ribbon.  If I had one to put in, this typewriter would probably still produce a decent script.

There were two types of font then -- either you had a pica (larger) or an elite (smaller) font.  Electric typewriters, however, could be purchased with different fonts.  The best, in my estimation was an IBM Executive.  The type on those was more like what we see on computers today.  They were, however, a problem if you made a mistake as letters such as an "i" or a "t" took two spaces, while "w" and "M" took 4.  Most of the letters were 3 spaces so you can see the problem.  If you typed an "i" instead of the neighboring "u" there weren't enough spaces to fit it in after you erased and you had to start all over again!  (Yep, that function we have on computers to highlight and delete is a God send!) Most people did not like the Executive typewriter.  I did.  When I changed departments and became the bottom one on the rung of secretaries (yes, we were not called Executive Assistants then) the other "girls" decided I should have the typewriter none of them liked.  I was, of course, delighted!

My laptop will be sitting where the typewriter is, I just thought it would be fun to photograph it in this sort of old fashioned setting.

When the typewriter was new, it might have had one these kerosene lamps sitting next to it.

Maybe it would have had an ink pen and ink well, too.

The book?  Alice in Wonderland, of course!  The "looking glass" that used to be on this vanity is now hanging on the wall.  It was no longer stable on the vanity.

I'll show you this space once it is actually set up as my office.

This weekend the room was used for the grand kids who spent the night.  Most of the time it is empty, though, so it should make a great office.  I have plans to use the spindles that once held the mirror for something else.  Tune back in later to see what.

Hope you enjoyed my little trip down memory lane.  If you are of a certain age, you may remember that computers used to fill rooms and used punch cards.  They most definitely were not household items.  College students were lucky if they had a typewriter in a case to take to college.  Today, they take a laptop, tablet and a mobile device that works just like a computer!  My how times have changed.  For the better?  Maybe.  What do you think?

Has technology really improved our world or is it just different?




Lorinda said...

It's a hard call. I love my computer - can't imagine having to write term papers the old fashioned way so I'm not a Ludite. But on the other hand my favorite sewing tools are still my eyes and fingers. Having to give up my sewing machine wouldn't be as hard as giving up my computer or ipod!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lois,

What you've got there looks like an Underwood 5. One of the most famous typewriters ever manufactured. They started production ca. 1900. I'm not sure how long they made them for, but they're supposed to be very good quality. it's very beautiful.