Many a time...
My fingers did fly...
On one or another of these...
Here's the beginning...
A 4 week high school summer course, in which we didn't really cover how to type numbers or the symbols when you shifted on those keys. So I'd always have to hunt for dollar signs (and still do often!) These were called manual machines, and about the time I learned (1958) someone started making electric typewriters.
The message my mother gave me was "you might need to have a skill you can fall back on after you finish your education" and the understanding was "if you don't get married."
That was actually fantastic advice. After my divorce, as a single mom I often would take my typing skills to temporary secretarial services and an agency could place me in a minute since I could type 70 words per minute, with fewer and fewer mistakes as I got older. And then my errors no longer needed to have corrections made by an eraser with a brush on the end!
There was a new invention, a reel of correction tape along with a cartridge of ribbon! No more messy carbon on the fingers when changing a typewriter ribbon on spools.
I loved using a keyboard to communicate. And just see how it's taken off in the computer age!
In the 70s I went on a 3 month camping trip. And I brought a manual portable typewriter to record my journal of the trip...which was in a camper van, so don't imagine me with a backpack and a typewriter tied to it! I did give a copy of these notes to each of my older sons who took that trip with me!
A stage often overlooked in our evolution from typewriter to computers was the word processor.
By then I was returned to college to get a degree in art. But we still had term papers to prepare, so I borrowed one of these.
A year later I supported myself and my youngest son with typing part time at a local psychologists office with one of these Brother portables! (It sure beat doing housework for about the same income.) Portable, electric, with a correction ribbon and a cartridge for ink ribbon. Mine was black.
When I finished an art degree, I continued to get my counseling degree, and I got a graduate assistantship at the University of Florida.
My typing had again paid off, and I got to use these for the next 3 years, compiling all kinds of data into documents.
The Apple 2E computer work horses.
Once I graduated, I was now a counselor, and found my first job included selling the wood crafts of a workshop for folks with mental problems, including their "learning skills in a wood-shop," so I took black and white photos and converted them into paper copies with a Xerox machine, and added text with a computer, and with that good old copier I published a small leaflet showing the products we made. I'd already done desktop publishing of some fliers for weekly "brown-bag" meetings on topics for the Anthropology department at UF. I got to do graphic design on that job also.
I was often the only counselor in a setting who knew anything about typing, or computers...so would be working side by side with many secretaries. I became a nerd without trying. And I continued to want to keep my notes with a keyboard. Did you know all medical notes were done by hand in a patient/clients chart, by doctors, nurses and counselors? What a waste of time and paper!
But things have evolved, and now my own doctors have nothing but a computer screen and keyboard in the exam room now.
My hope is that the typewriter gets its honor having been the force behind improving written communication all those many years ago. I hope another Sepia Saturday participant looks into it's history. Come see what they have to say...HERE.