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Click, clack, ding, sigh: Old Typewriters inspire the digital generation

Old Typewriters

Old Typewriters Inspire The Young Generation

The New York Times published an article late last month, Click, Clack, Ding, Sigh, about Generation Y’s affection for manual typewriters.

I, too, love the sound of manual typewriters. We had one growing up, but they stopped making the ribbons for it and it stayed in its suitcase throughout my childhood and youth. I think it was eventually sold off in a garage sale.

In high school, I learned to type on an electric typewriter. Corrective tape was glorious! Also, does anyone remember what a big deal it was when Liquid Paper started offering their product in yellow, pink, blue and goldenrod? Bureaucracies the world over were in heaven. I must say Liquid Paper served me well in college. When I was broke, I used it to give myself French manicures.

Here is an excerpt from the article by Jessica Bruder:

“I’m in love with all of them,” said Louis Smith, 28, a lanky drummer from Williamsburg. Five minutes later, he had bought a dark blue 1968 Smith Corona Galaxie II for $150. “It’s about permanence, not being able to hit delete,” he explained. “You have to have some conviction in your thoughts. And that’s my whole philosophy of typewriters…”

What’s your best typewriter memory?


Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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  1. Anonymous

    Jen–How well I remember my typing experience. I taught myself on a manual Undrwood! That was over 50 years ago.

    When I was in high school, I had planned to enter college to become a teacher. My counselor, at the time, advised me not to take typing unless I was planning to become a secretary or work in an office. Alas–

    Little did she know about the coming of electric typwriters and the age of computers. No doubt today, If I turned in a handwritten manuscript (in ink), to a college professor, I would receive and automatic “F” because it wasn’t typed.



  2. Yogi♪♪♪

    I took a whole year of typing in high school. My most vivid memory was everybody in the class pushing the backspace key while centering titles and whispering the paired letters. “co” backspace”mm” backspace “en” backspace etc.

    I spent many hours at college typing up lab reports and papers on my electric portable.

  3. HeyRay

    My dad typing all his sermons on our gray Royal typewriter at the dining room table.

    I was obviously meant to be writer, as Mom has a picture of me sitting on that table–being held up by Dad–with my fingers extended to the keys. I was maybe 9months old.

    Like Susan, I received an electric typewriter from my parents for high school graduation. Used it throughout college (it had a built-in correction ribbon, able to erase a whole word at once!). I haven’t used it since … 1997? But I still have it, it’s under the bed. I don’t know what to do with it.

  4. Susan A

    My high school graduation present from my parents was an electric typewriter that I took to college and wrote all my papers on until I was a senior. It was then that the computer lab had some monochrome monitor pcs running Word Perfect and daisywheel printers. Whoa.


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