A Reason to Smile
This is WONDERFUL! Thank you, Mr. Rather. Smiling indeed!
Thanks, Dan! I am one of those folks of a certain age. Learned to type on a manual typewriter and was actually a bit flummoxed when I encountered an IBM Selectric the first time. When I got my first iPhone, I left the keyboard sound on. My kids objected though and now my typing is silent. Miss that reassuring click that lets me know I’ve touched the key and recorded the letter.
Dan - I loved this piece - for two reasons. First, it's a break/brake from the crazy noise that brings back fond memories of simpler times, kinder times.
My 7th grade typing class - a big old clunky Underwood that didn't have a fast carriage return ( try using that term today with anyone under 50 and you get a strange sideward glance) - and I struggled, as we all did to learn touch-typing without watching our keys. For my, the trick was to look at my paper on the rack to my left - a direct sight-line to Lyn H. in the next row. I was a shy kid who had trouble talking to girls let alone looking at them - but there it was. All I had to do was be a good student, look at the work I was copying and not my keys. My error content was high at first, but I was learning the right way, my gaze firmly fixed on the page with Lyn H. as my background.
I have no idea what ever happened to her, but I regularly tell anyone who asks, that my best course of all my schooling was 7th grade typing. It has served me well, taught me to not watch my keys, to look at attractive women without blinking and along the way I learned to talk to them too.
I notice - as I've reading a number of comments, your readers of pieces like this are time travel for we boomers who type, or typing-boomers, we are a cohort who like good reportage and enjoy the sound to the keys and the bell.
I am reminded as I read this, of growing up to the sound of my Father's typewriter. Almost always that sound accompanied the smell of rubber cement as he laid out his pages for the team at the small papers that he started his career with: The Denison Bulletin (Denison, IA), The Phonograph (St Paul, NE), and all of his farm publications for National Livestock Feeders and others. So, thanks for this Ode to Byron "By" Phillips and so many others who beat the street for an informed world. N
Brings back memories. I typed to music throughout my 33 yrs of office work. Reached typing speed of 115 words per minute on standard and later electric typewriters. Music was a must! Thank you for the special reminder/memories.
What fun! I took typing class in 9th grade with Mrs. Roberson, one of the meanest teachers who ever lived. (That's saying something, as I was predisposed to love teachers, coming from a family of them, becoming one for 30 years myself, and having a mom and aunt who were teachers.) That was okay, as she spent most of each class in the teachers' smoking lounge. Our typewriters in class were all manual. My parents gave me an electric typewriter as one of my high school graduation presents in 1975, and I used it quite happily for 4 years of college. I majored in French and Spanish, and had to go over my papers and add the accents by hand before submitting them. It's a lovely , active, happy sound to me.
Wonderful. I was in J-school at the University of Oklahoma in 1967. There were three IBM electric typewriters and the rest were manuals. Deadline time sounded like a herd of buffaloes! Several years later I was teaching journalism in a small high school in western Kansas. Typing class was next to me. One day we heard a male scream “I can’t take it anymore!” And with that he threw the typewriter out of the third story window. We had a funeral for the typewriter.
My sad result was, using my typewriter to get my Degree. I was working full time as a Critical Care RN, when my neighbor complained about my typing!! Yes, I got my Degree and moved on, but for me it was tic-tic to success.
Thank you so much! This reminded me of some time I spent many years ago with the writer Harlan Ellison at a science fiction convention in Australia. He asked me to sit with him while he did some public writing on a short story. We held a fairly decent conversation as he was typing his story at 120 words per minutes, using only two fingers, on a small portable Olympic typewriter. Magic! I could see no errors and the piece was editor ready, by the way.
My grandfather typed only on a manual. He typed everything then attached that note with a straight pin (instead of a staple).
Thank you for sharing. There's nothing like the sound of a typewriter.
Brings back memories of my typing class at high school, 30 of us studends wearing black bibs to block out the keys, typing exercises to the rythm of a metronome. At 86 now, I will never forget the sound. Thanks for the memory and all that you do and write. (NZ)
It’s a wonderful piece which has delighted generations of audiences. Thank you for continuing the tradition.
I love this! Made me think of The Dick Van Dyke show and how the typewriter sometimes seemed like a character.
Also...for a real stroll down memory lane...instructions on how to make a telephone call. 😂
I, too, am of the generation that went from clickety-clack typewriters, to electric typewriters to self-correction selectrics to computers - desktop, laptop and pads and phones. When I think about the changes I've lived through and adapted to, it's really breathtaking.
One other technology that's changed is the telephone. Here is a YouTube video of modern kids trying out a rotary phone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHNEzndgiFI&list=PLHVH57zmIAm3rl4f1h_i4xTuKWK_64Kvc&index=13 Enjoy!
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh Mr Rather, you’ve struck a chord here, or should I say a key….I absolutely love love love the sound of a typewriter- why aren’t there emoji’s for them?…my old Olivetti, a Smith-Corona, still sit in my closet, for how could I ever part with them…as a matter of fact, I think I’m going to do at least one of them right and sit it right on my desk! The clammering and hammering of the keys, especially if you were a good typist is a joy…anyone remember Typing 101 at school?, actually a required class in my 7th grade junior high school, with a special honor if you could type so many words- correctly spelled, of course, in one minute…of course, everyone wanted to achieve that…but, anyway, that lovely sound of the keys and the ding to return the carriage…& I loved the music you shared! Silly, nahhhhhhhh, we need more silly and fun AND remembering this wonderful machine!…I thank you,…and by the looks of the comments, so does everyone else! Here’s 🥂to the almighty, typewriter ❣️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️⌨️🏼❣️🙏🏼☮️
For three summers as a teenager, I worked for a large Insurance company. I was a file clerk. Not much noise as I manually alphabetized and filed documents, so I remember well the clickety clack of the typewriters. I never learned to type, so I wrote manually the seven copies of my dissertation before paying a secretary to type it. I think now of all the children who can't use a typewriter or write legibly, but were helped to express their thoughts more easily by the invention of the personal computer. What was a burdensome assignment became the pure joy of writing.