Typewriters I have known and loved….

My earlier post about writing got me to thinking off the typewriters I have used down through the years. What’s that you say? Yes, we used to have typewriters. With ink ribbons that you had to change. I know, it was prehistoric!

The first typewriter I ever owned was a manual Royal machine. I got it from my grandparents as a graduation present after I finished two years of journalism school. I wrote the very first story I ever submitted to a magazine on this machine.

The next typewriter I got was a gray Olivetti. Man, I loved this machine. I wrote my first novel on it, 100,000 words. The novel didn’t sell, but I put a lot of “word miles” on this one, haha. I got it from my Grandmother who lived in Texas at the time. She was one of the few people in my family who ever supported my idea of wanting to become a writer, so this one holds a special place in my heart:

The next machine I got was an electric typewriter. Boy, talk about a step up from manual! Your fingers could fly across the keyboard. I wrote tons of stories on two or three machines like this. I would wear one out, buy a new one. The first one I bought was in Lafayette, LA at Sears. I remember debating whether or not I wanted to spend the money for it. I got in my car, drove away, got halfway down the road turned back and went inside and made the purchase.

This was probably the best typewriter I have ever owned. It had the awesome Coronomatic cartridge you could pop in and out. Later, as typerwriters became an endangered species, it was more difficult to find the cartridges:

Now I work on a laptop computer. It’s like every other laptop computer out there. It has no soul, no quirks, no funny noises or needs oiling or the keys cleaned or anything like that. It is impersonal and uncaring. It’s like every other stupid laptop out there, I swear.

Yeah. I miss typewriters. But I’m not crazy. Computers have made the technical aspect of writing a lot easier, especially when it comes to producing a clean manuscript.

Yes, technically we are better off with computers. But emotionally? You are never going to convince me otherwise.

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2 Comments

  1. OMG! An Olivetti! I learned on one of those in highschool. Also lost a ring down the carriage area. The teacher had to take it apart to get it out, then couldn’t get the machine back together. 😀

    My mother had one of those old electric typewriters. I can still remember the way it used to smell, and every time you hit the carriage return, the whole table shook.

    I bought a word processor machine during the early 90’s. I finished my first scifi novel on it and I thought it was so cool that I could save the whole file onto a diskette. Mind you, you could only see five line and it was loud as hell when you typed stuff out.

    Wow, such memories.

    Reply
    • Isn’t it awesome? Man, that thing was so big and gray and heavy. You are right, I had one in high school, too, for typewriting class, I had forgotten about that. I only remembered the one Grandmother gave me. And you are so right about the electric carriage return. They really would shake the entire table!

      Reply

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