Friday, June 7, 2013

On Operating a Typewriter

It is scary how some everyday things of my youth have become obsolete, and thus almost unknown to younger generations like my kids. Some of these things have, however, become cool. Case in point: the typewriter.

My brother-in-law gave this one to my son, who promptly set it up and started using it. I have to say, it was strange and oddly comforting to hear the sound of a typewriter's chatter again. Soon, however, my son reached an impasse: How do you get to the next line? Mom to the rescue: You give that lever in the back a shove. Next problem: How do you get capital letters? Ah! You press that Shift key down really hard, and (extra trick) to type in ALL CAPS, there's another key you have to press and then the whole carriage remains elevated.

Soon, he was merrily typing along, and I was secretly proud that for once I could show him how a gadget works.


  1. What a hoot that kids today think a typewriter is neat, but then, it's a real novelty to them. I learned on a manual typewriter in high school. We had 2 spanking new electric typewriters in the classroom and you had to wait and wait for a turn with them. What fun to use this new innovation where you didn't have to press hard on the keys. I still have my old electric typewriter up on a shelf in a closet, gathering dust. I put it there the day I got my first computer thinking that I might need it someday if this computer thing didn't work out. The typewriter has never left the shelf! Thanks for triggering some memories with your post today.

    1. Nancy - I learned to touch type on a manual typewriter, too! Then I thought the electrical one was a huge advancement, especially when you didn't have to muck around with whiteout anymore! If you ever want to get rid of that electric typewriter in your closet, let me know. My son would be thrilled.

  2. That's so funny! You go mom!

  3. My mother had an electric typewriter in the house. I remember her having a roll of corrector tape always on hand, because that made less of a mess with a typewritten page than Liquid Paper.