Do You Remember Your First Typewriter?

@worldwise1 (14887)
United States
February 4, 2008 4:18pm CST
Lately, I've been thinking about typewriters a lot for some reason that is unknown to me. This, of course, led me to revisit my first encounter with one of these incredible machines. The first time I really paid attention to a typewriter was when a visiting preacher came to stay at our home when I was a child. I would sit and watch him peck out the words with much awe and fascination. My love for the written word escalated on each visit when he would return to hold our church revival. He finally trusted me enough to allow me to hunt and peck on his typewriter every now and then. One of my first priorities when I entered my freshman year of high school was to sign up for the typing class. I did very well in typing because I had the desire to do so. My aunt and uncle promised me that if I kept my grades up they would get me a typewriter for Christmas that year. Well, I did get my very first typewriter that Christmas of 1959. It was not brand new, but, who cared! It was my very own. Now, the leading brands of typewriter manufacturers were Underwood and Smith Corona. I did not get either of these. I got one with the brand name of Hermes. For some reason, I always thought the name signified Latin American origins -until I did some research today. It turns out that my little Hermes was made in Switzerland. Who knew? I kept that typewriter for many years. It went along with the house when it burned in the '70s. Do you remember your very first typewriter? Do you still have it?
6 people like this
21 responses
@mummymo (23707)
4 Feb 08
I do worldwise - it was a kids one when I was about 7 but it was a perfect one , just made out of plastic! I used to beg people to give me things to type and pretend I was working in an office - I passed many, many hours that way! Because of that my aunt bought me an old black antique typewriter (can't remember the maker) and I loved it! When I was married we moved to another country (his job paid for everything to be shipped) and when I left him and returned home it was a toss up between my son and they typewriter so I chose to bring the type erm I mean son and as far as I know my ex still has the typewriter that is probably worth a little bit by now! xxx
2 people like this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
6 Feb 08
I learned, mummymo, that there is a world of typewriter enthusiasts out there! I would never have believed it. They have sites with pictures of all kinds of antique typewriters. I was still using an electric model until about 7 years ago.
1 person likes this
@mummymo (23707)
6 Feb 08
I know - I have seen some of these sites around! I must admit that the typewriter was more satisfying to type on than a pc or laptop keyboard but hey there you go. I do know someone who STILL uses typewriters although my 6 year old keeps thinking it is a computer keyboard that has lost its computer! xxx
@barehugs (8986)
• Canada
5 Feb 08
Yes I remember it well! It was an Underwood which was probably sold in the 20's or early 30's. A friend who repaired Typerwriters sold it to me for $20.00. I learned to hit and pick on it and enjoyed it very much. It had a ribbon that was red and black so you could type in either color. It was a very heavy machine but at the time we didn't know anything else! I wish I had that old Antique now. It would be worth many times what I paid for it.
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
6 Feb 08
Those old ribbons were absolutely the worst, barehugs! My fingers used to get smeared whenever I had to change them.
@winterose (39916)
• Canada
4 Feb 08
sure it was a manual brother, then I started to work and I worked on an electric smith corona, that was so darn loud it bothered everyone in the office.
2 people like this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
6 Feb 08
I once worked in an office, winterose, and I grew to love the sound of those typewriters, lol.
@Adoniah (7515)
• United States
4 Feb 08
My first typewriter was an old Royal from the 50s. It was my Dad's. He used it when he worked for WWDC the radio station in Washington D.C. It was not thet hard to use actually. The keys were easy to press and easy to clean compared to the ones we had to use in typing class in High Scool. I got permission to use my own typewriter in class and did very well even though it was manuel. My Grandmother had a Hermes. I remember seeing it in her Apt. in Baltimore. My typewriter burned in our house fire in the late 80"s. Shalom
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
6 Feb 08
It was hard for me to switch from a manual to an electric typewriter, Adoniah, but I finally made the adjustment. Just having this discussion makes me want to run out and buy a typewriter, lol.
@luvstochat (6914)
• United States
4 Feb 08
My mom bought me a typenwrite when I was in elementary school it wasn't a typewriter but it was a toy with a keyboard like a typewriter and it had a little screent that would show sentences to type then tell you your typing to error score. I had that thing until several years ago I loved it! I don't know what happened to it though. When I was in highschool I got a real typewriter but I didn't use it much and couldn't even tell you what brand it was now.
2 people like this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
6 Feb 08
I think I know the device you are referring to, luvstochat, because my daughter had one while she was taking some courses for school. They were nice to practice on if you wanted to improve your speed and accuracy.
@wolfie34 (26792)
• United Kingdom
4 Feb 08
Oh yes my friend and fond memories I have of it too! I was about 15 at the time and I had no career plans, well real ones anyhow and my favourite aunt at the time who was a secretary kept on trying to get me to learn to type and that it would stand me in good stead for later life and boy how right she was and together her and mum bought me my first manual typewriter! I remember hurting my poor thumbs as you had to press hard on the keys, I liked the type font and it was the one finger touch job! However my first typewriter got me so interested in typing that I went on to college to learn to touch type! It was at the time when electronic typewriters were about and once I switched from manual to electronic I could never go back so the poor manual was banished, I think it ended up in the charity shop, it was green I remember that and I did get my use out of it.
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
6 Feb 08
That brings back nice memories, wolfie, doesn't it? I think learning to type is something you really have to have a hunger for. Many people do not have the aptitude for it.
@lilaclady (28238)
• Australia
4 Feb 08
I remember having a big typewriter, I would it from a secondhand office supply place, i wanted to be able to use it so bad so i went to night school to learn to type for one year, the next year computers came out and for some reason I cant touch type on a computer like I did on that typewriter, strange isn't it....
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
6 Feb 08
It's not so strange, lilaclady, that you had trouble making the transition. I've heard others say the same thing. For me, learning to type was something I definitely wanted to master, and there was a time when I could type much faster than I can these days.
@mcrowl (1050)
• New Zealand
5 Feb 08
I can remember that my first typewriter was so heavy that by the time I'd carried it from the shop to the bus stop my hip was bruised with the weight of it. However, it served me well, and I learned to touch type on it. I made sure that my next typewriter was a lot lighter - it was a lovely little portable one, and I suspect it's still around the house somewhere, but only God knows where!
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
6 Feb 08
It was revolutionary when the lighter weight portables came on the market, mcrowl. I like to think of them as the first method of taking your work with you.
1 person likes this
@mcrowl (1050)
• New Zealand
6 Feb 08
Yes, they were a bit like pre-laptops!
• Trinidad And Tobago
5 Feb 08
I remember my first typewriter. Actually, it was a second hand typewriter to begin with. The top cover was missing so you could see the inside of the typewriter. That was in 1995, I was trying to type my school based assessment in Food and Nutrition. I had to maually feed in paper, manually roll up the paper to the next line because that part of the typewriter was giving some trouble. I had my trusty needle by my side to clean out the o's, d's,p's and q's when they printed blurred on the page. Oh yes, those were the days, never want to go back there, got a distinction in that CXC exam though. I do not think it even had a brand name. Boy, was that the heaviest thing ever! you did not want to accidentally drop that machine. Replacing that ribbon was the worst....
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
6 Feb 08
I think that most of us who started out on the typewriter had a used model, simsimrie, lol. There were struggles involved but I didn't mind at all.
@crazynurse (7489)
• United States
5 Feb 08
Yes! I so remember our typewriter when I was a small child. My mother was a secretary and she had a typewriter at home too. I loved to watch her fingers move so swiftly on the keys and the words appear like magic on the paper! I couldn't wait to take typing in high school and I did very well in that class. I got a typewriter as a graduation present when I graduated from high school. Goodness knows how many term papers and whatnot I typed on that typewriter. Many of the people at college didn't know how to type and I typed papers for them. This was a great little income during college! (of course for close friends there was no charge!). I finally sold that typewriter when we made the move to our current home. Computers had made it obsolete and I had to downsize my possessions. My children make fun of me to this day for the way I "bang the keys" on the laptop keyboard. I'm sure it is from years of using a typewriter.
1 person likes this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
6 Feb 08
Ah, crazynurse, so you caught the fever too, lol. Computers have made the typewriter obsolete, for all intents and purposes, but I would still like to have one.
• United Arab Emirates
5 Feb 08
type writer - I loved learning typewriting. It was a wonderful experience.
Hi, I don't remember the brand name but it was really exciting to learn typewriting. I feel that learning type writing back when I was in 10th grade, has come of so use to me now. My typing speed is good and I can type without looking at the keyboard. It was a wonderful learning experience. Thanks for bringing back my nostalgic memories. Regards.
1 person likes this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
6 Feb 08
It is a nice touch of nostalgia, lavenderbloom, and I agree that it was a valuable learning experience.
@gloria777 (1678)
• India
5 Feb 08
I don't have my own typewriter, but I still remember the typewriter from which I started working as a clerk. Normally now a days manual typewriters are out of sight and use in offices..
1 person likes this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
6 Feb 08
You are right, gloria, but did you know that there are still some die-hards who will only use typewriters today? I know of a couple of famous authors who still use them.
@chrysz (1603)
• Philippines
5 Feb 08
i doont remember the brand but i first had it in 1995. in the province, it was already considered a luxury. i am not a touch typist but i can do 35 wpm. my typewriter is still working but it would need a lot of lubricant to work efficiently since i haven't used it for years.
1 person likes this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
6 Feb 08
I take it that you are self-taught, chrysz. Your speed is not bad for someone who is not a touch typist.
@Aurone (4758)
• United States
5 Feb 08
I actually never had a typewriter. I grew up on the cusp of the computer age. My father would bring home his old computers from work, so by the time I was in high school and writing things that needed to be typed, I was doing so on a computer. Typing was Keyboarding at my school and we learned on computer keyboards. The only real typing I have ever done was on my grandmother's typewriter and on a typewriter at the real estate office that I used to work for.
1 person likes this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
6 Feb 08
I see, Aurone, that you are from the "techhie" era, lol. I do believe that I would have been just as fascinated by the computer as the typewriter. Actually, I took to the computer like a duck to the water.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
5 Feb 08
I first got my own typewriter when I was in high school. Typing classes were compulsory for us SUPW and we had to get our own portable typewriters to school. My first one was an Olympus typewriter...and I would proudly carry it to school once every week. This was in 1989. Later on, when I started college in India, I would type out all my notes on the typewriter (because I was fascinated with typing). My friends thought I was crazy...lol...but I didn't. I still have the old typewriter at my parents' home.
1 person likes this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
6 Feb 08
Yes, SViswan, I think, with typewriters, you either love them or hate them. I was one of those who loved them.
@jeanbug23 (567)
• Philippines
5 Feb 08
I had my first typewriter when I was in highschool. I think it is hidden in my old closet at my mom's house now. It's kinda huge and heavy. I can still remember how I typed so noisily because of the heavy keyboards. It's so funny to see it now that it's so rusty.
1 person likes this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
6 Feb 08
I'd advise you to hold onto it, jeanbug, as it might be worth something in the future, lol.
• United States
5 Feb 08
I don't think I got my first typewriter of my very own until I was a teenager, but I was using other people's typewriters since I was really young. They were all manual typewriters and very hard to use. I loved to write since I was little and was always typing. It was a good thing because when I became an adult, I got jobs typing and doing data entry. It's totally easy on a computer compared to a typewriter with no correction tape or using carbon papers.
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
6 Feb 08
I wouldn't trade the experience of learning on my old typewriters for anything, desertdarlene. I look upon it as a sort of "rite of passage."
@cblackink (969)
• United States
4 Mar 08
I remember my first typewriter and don't miss it a bit. Typewriters were so clunky and slow compared to typing on a computer keyboard.
@carolscash (9500)
• United States
3 Mar 08
I remember the first typewriter that I got to pretend that I knew how to type on. It was a big black antique one that my mom had and I would play for hours on it. We had it for a long time, but it was so heavy to move around that I finally found something better to play with. It was fun though! I took keyboarding skills when I was out of high school but didn't learn to type really until I got my own computer and now I am fairly good at it.
@carolbee (16241)
• United States
18 Feb 08
Yes I do remember my very first typewriter but don't remember what happened to it. The ribbon was on spools which ran from one side to the other. I also took a typing class in high school but did so bad, thought I'd never learn to type. I believe my first one was an Underwood and I shared it with my mom. Those were the good, ole days.