Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
Why is this so dazzlingly attractive to me? I haven’t touched a typewriter in about thirty years (slight exaggeration), and for the most part using a typewriter was a colossal pain in the ass. Of course, I go all the way back to the days of carbon paper, when if you made a mistake while typing a paper for that tyrant English Lit. professor, Dr. Mason (and she insisted on the doctor) even correction tape or Liquid Paper couldn’t save you. You had to retype the entire page. Photocopiers were few and far between, plus they seemed expensive to use. Better to buck up, sober up, sit down, and type. Carefully.
And yet, these objects excite a certain thrill in me. Some of them are so primitive they look like something from the movie Brazil, but the bottom couple of rows are more-than-vaguely familiar. I can even hear the drone of their motors and the satisfying click the font ball of the IBM Selectric made as it hit the paper. I can also remember the texture of the ribbons, especially the ribbons that had black on top and red on the bottom. I was always looking for a reason to use red.
Alas, it’s so much easier to write these days. We take it for granted. Especially you youngsters who never had to make a deadline with one of these monsters, never had to mess with blobs of Liquid Paper that dried and cracked like clay, never realized your ink-smudged fingers (from that emergency ribbon change) were soiling everything in sight, including the paper you just typed. Doh!
I do love the idea of these contraptions. But life really is much better now.
(By the way, if you go to the link, you can zoom in on the poster and view it in detail. It costs $29.)