Typewriters to Computers

Over the weekend I went into my attic storage space to dig out my box of Christmas decorations. While in the attic I moved some of my in-laws things to one side to better organize the space. I came across a sturdy black plastic case.

I assumed it held tools or something like that. Kyle also noticed the case and said, “Hey what’s in there? Open it up!” and I mumbled “It’s probably tools…”

I snapped open the heavy case and inside lay an electric typewriter. My face lit up and I began tapping the keys and said “All work and no play makes Monique a dull girl!” Ever since watching The Shining this October for the first time I’ve seen references to the movie all over the place–so I just had to do that!

I closed the case and continued on with my re-organization efforts. Now thinking back, I have memories associated with typewriters.

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I remember my mom clacking away on her electric typewriter trying to teach herself how to type as she transitioned from being a Veterinary Assistant to a clerical professional.  Eventually, I started to use that typewriter to type up my reports and essays for school. We didn’t have a computer for many years so I always just typed things up on the typewriter.

My process included walking to the library and using the Dewey Decimal System to find reference books. Then I’d jot down notes and make photo copies of pages I found useful. Sometimes I’d use the computer for research but didn’t really harness the power of the internet until high school. Then I’d hand write my report. I would make edits on the paper by moving paragraphs around with arrows and adding new sentences in the margins. Once satisfied I’d sit down in front of the typewriter to type it out.

I wonder if kids now even use books for research. I wonder if their teachers require them to hand write a rough draft or do they head straight to the computer? I remember when I got to high school a teacher specifically saying she did not want papers produced by typewriter, they had to be Word Processed. The days of using the typewriter were over for me!

We did eventually get a computer and dial-up internet. That lasted a little while but eventually the computer died. We were without a computer for a few more years until we got a family lap top. By that point I was in community college and didn’t use the lap top very often. I managed to go without my own computer for so many years–I didn’t buy one of my own until about three years ago! I always utilized the library or computer labs at school. It just shows that you don’t need to personally own top of the line electronic devices to succeed in school. Just know where the resources are available and manage your time well.

When did you get your first computer? Have you ever used a typewriter? Do you prefer handwriting or typing?

I personally now prefer typing but like to outline ideas on paper first!

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2 thoughts on “Typewriters to Computers”

  1. I did the same thing when I was hand-writing drafts. I would write sideways on the margins and had arrows flying everywhere. By the time I typed it up on the computer, I was effectively editing my second or third draft. There’s just something about hand-writing that gets me in to the right creative space. I often wonder about how kids are taught today.
    We always had a computer in the house thanks to my dad and my step-dad both being computer guys so i didn’t really have any experience with a typewriter until my previous job. There was an old electric typewriter that I used to create labels and other little projects and I loved it. I loved the physicality of it and, of course, the sound. It was so satisfying.

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