Typewriter Love

Every time I pick up a book from the earlier part of the twentieth century (heck all the way up to the 80s, really), I think: Damn, this whole thing was written on a typewriter. That’s takes patience. And plenty of carbons.

I thought I’d give it a go, on a small scale, mind you. Here’s the results.

If you have as much trouble as I do reading this, here’s what it says:

Typewriter. Why do I love it so? There’s plenty of great writers who composed their whole work on this machine. Seems impossible by today’s standards. As you can see, mistakes happen. Some letters are hardly visible. What a way to run a railroad. This process is exhausting. How did folks do it? No delete. No spellcheck. Yet different thoughts emerge as I type. Things that wouldn’t surface if I were keyboarding.

It took me a few drafts to realize where the apostrophe was. Also, as you notice, I realized I needed to switch to double spacing after periods (rather than the now accepted single space).

Here’s the machine I worked on: The Royal Quiet De Luxe.

One interesting outcome that you’d never see with modern printers were the dents. I had to strike the keys so hard, they dented the paper. In a few spots they even created holes. Here’s a picture of the backside of the paper.

Trippy, isn’t it?

One last picture to round out my typewriter love. This isn’t mine. Rather it’s from photographer Todd McLellan. This is from a series called “The Way Things Work.”

The Way Things Work by Todd McLellan

Type on.

Tim Kane

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6 comments on “Typewriter Love

  1. I love it! See, now you see why I use double space typing after periods. I learned on a typewriter. You have to have it. And I love that you have a Royal Deluxe. It looks just like mine! Love it. And the dimples on the back.
    This has got to be one of my favorite posts. (if you can’t tell, I’m slightly obsessed about typewriters. I even wrote a couple posts about mine)

  2. When I was a kid, I used to love typing on my Mom’s old Underwood typewriter. When I went to college, I was given an electric typewriter so I could type out my papers and projects. It was so darn frustrating! I used a whole lot of correcting ribbon, then I got wise and bought erasable paper. I’d have to photocopy my papers to hand in, though. Eventually, the ‘e’ key started to stick and would drive me absolutely insane having to erase eeeeeeeeeees all the time! I am so in love with my laptop now I don’t think I’d ever go back to the old typewriters again! 🙂

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