Ah the lamentable wedge, sent to landfill by the ignorant masses, cannibalized by geekhackers for their keycaps and switches, derided by mainstream collectors.
Trawl through newspaper articles about the rise of the electronic typewriter in the early 1980s and the predictions of many pundits were fancifully apocalyptic:
“The writer who taps out a story on this new electronic and sends it off to a publisher no longer can roll his compositions over in his head, embellishing it with the colors and rhythms of his mind’s eye – not exactly as he wrote it, perhaps, but always improving on it. His memory is beautifully fallible. The electronic writer cannot sit there, imagining his story to be any better than it was when it left the machine. Because this machine remembers.
And at the touch of a button it will print out this story exactly as it was typed, repeating without compassion every awkward phrase, each listless verb, all the flaws a writer might rework – if he could go out and intercept the copy he mailed to the publisher. If such a machine falls into the hands of the wrong man, he will spend all year correcting himself.”A Writer’s Best Friend? by John Lacy, Hartford Courant, Connecticut, 24th May 1981.
A writer’s best friend? Maybe not, but secretaries around the world, working in that transitional period at the end of the 1970s through to the end of the following decade, might tell you a different story about how “a new electronic” not only increased their productivity but saved their sanity.
Andy Rooney, writing in The Tampa Tribune, Florida, September 1985, was having none of it:
Twenty years later and romance (with the mechanical typewriter) is not dead (at least not according to this article printed in The Tampa Tribune on the 28th of August 2005). The cliché lives on.
None of the romanticism associated with the mechanical clunker ever goes the way of the electronic typewriter, which enjoys few accolades, being regarded as a backward-facing, transitional technology – not really a typewriter, not really a word processor, not really worthy of serious consideration in the written history of either. Until now …
A typewriter may be just what you need by Catherine Hinman, The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Florida) · 9 Nov 1988 (Title modified)
You must be logged in to post a comment.