I found my grandmother’s old manual typewriter in the attic one day and dragged it out of the case. I set it on the table and started typing. I noticed it needed a new ribbon so I hopped on Amazon and ordered a new one. Within 2 days I was typing my recipe cards on an old typewriter with a brand spanking new ribbon. It took me an hour to type just two recipe cards. Where the heck is the number 1 key? Where is the exclamation point?
After a little research I found that the manufacturer eliminated keys they found were redundant. In other words the number 1 and exclamation point could be made with other keys so they didn’t add them to the machine in order to keep manufacturing costs down. The exclamation point could be made by typing an apostrophe and then backspacing and typing a period. Easy right? The number 1 stumped me though. I couldn’t figure out how to type a 1. The upper case and lower case I’s didn’t work. The upper case L didn’t look right either. I looked at one of the recipe cards my grandmother had typed and bingo, it was a lower case L (l).
I get a lot of flack for even mentioning that I like using my old manual typewriter. “Why would you want to do that?” and “don’t you own a computer?” seem to be the common questions.
I love this typewriter. I love the sounds the keys make and the ding of the bell and the clicking sounds the shift and space bars make. I love that before computers and laptops and WiFi, typewriters like the one I own, were carried by their owners safely inside their carrying cases to report on the wars and conflicts and current news of our nation at the time. I love that someone I know owned and typed on this very machine and I love that over 60 years later you can still buy a ribbon for it!
Yes, you really have to push down hard on the keys but it doesn’t need electric to work and after some practice I am now able to type a recipe in about 5 minutes. Much better than an hour right?
I know people think I am nuts and I am fine with that. There is a lot of meaning in this old machine for me and that’s all that matters.
Have you ever typed on a manual typewriter? I would love to hear your stories. -MM