Make magazine begins its ‘Lost Knowledge series with an excellent detailed post on manual typewriters. Lost Knowledge goes ‘in search of the technology of the future in the forgotten ideas of the past’. It also occurs to me, thinking about machines like the typewriter, that part of their legacy is in language and the words they have left behind. Many of us ‘type’ every day, but we’re not really typing any more, at least not in the sense of making a mark on a piece of paper. How will we explain where the word ‘typing’ comes from to children born in 2009? Certainly not without pictures. Will they believe us when we tell them that for a brief period ‘Typist’ was a career choice?
Today, we look at antique manual typewriters. Typewriters are enjoying something of a resurgence these days. They have obvious antique/collectors appeal, they’re amazingly cool machines (as the photos below can attest), and in these increasingly cash-tight times, a manual typewriter requires no electricity, there’s no subscription fee, it’s relatively cheap and easy to keep running, and it doesn’t come with its own bundle of distractions and time-suck black holes like the PC I’m typing this on (while fielding IMs, Twitter feeds, and Facebook updates). [Link]
That sounds so good I may just have to take a look at the non-functioning Imperial Good Companion Model T I unearthed last autumn and see if I can fix it.