When I was kid, my mom owned a typewriter. I wasn’t yet eight when I discovered this fascinating machine. It wasn’t an old school typewriter with the clickity-clack keys but rather an electric one, where you typed one line at a time and then hit ‘enter’ and the whole line printed out at once. It was an awesome machine because if you made a mistake, you could correct it before moving on.
I don’t know exactly why my mom owned this typewriter, but I remember it, and I remember using it at a young age. Thinking back on it, I have no idea what I typed, but I definitely remember using this typewriter. When I see typewriters now—in museums, at yard sales—I’m compelled to look at and photograph them. If I can, I like to run my fingers over the raised keys.
The other day my husband had to have a form filled out at his place of employment. Said form has not been digitized and the secretary had to roll out a typewriter to fill in all the blank spaces on the piece of paper. My husband has never ever used a typewriter, and he was shocked that the office staff had one.
I think I could line up a piece of paper properly in a typewriter and get one working fairly easily, but I would guess that using a typewriter has become an antiquated act. My husband and I are in our early 30s, and if he’s never used one, something tells me that hardly anyone in their 20s has. I certainly appreciate the ease and versatility of using a word processing program on my laptop, but there’s definitely something satisfying about feeling the heavy ‘plunk’ as you hit each key of a typewriter. Something inky and authentic. Something permanent and final.