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Typewriter Orchestra Makes Music

Kiki Valdes of OpenZine pointed, on Twitter, to this article on the Boston Typewriter Orchestra, which in turn points to a longer article and an National Public Radio presentation called Boston Orchestra Makes Typewriters Sing.

I’m more than old enough to remember using typewriters. I began my writing career with one and thought the self-correcting Selectric was the cat’s pjs. It had a little canister of white-out tape and a big X key that applied the white out almost automatically. Saved retyping the whole document or using liquid white out or even erasers.

I got into computers simply because they would not only check my spelling, but I could edit a manuscript and not have to retype the whole thing. Yes, the whole thing. 

Both the articles have videos and sound, so when you need a break, listen to the Boston Typewriter Orchestra.


Image from http://www.sxc.hu

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Lou Paun

    Ah, yes, typewriters! I learned to type with my grandmother’s old manual (from the 1930s, I think) and my aunt’s old school textbook. I could never get the a to come out properly; my little finger just wasn’t strong enough. Those old IBM typewriters were an astonishing improvement, and when I saw my first computer with a word processing program, my life changed forever. No more measuring and remeasuring, typing and retyping, to get the footnotes right! I could cut-and-paste right on the screen, without scissors! Wow!

    I enjoy telling my 20-something son and his friends about those days. They always look stunned when they realize how much labor it took to type a paper. It’s even better than the classic “I walked to school through the snowdrifts” line!

  • I remember using our Brother typewriter/word processor from the late ’80s. That had a little screen about an inch wide and about as tall as a pencil. Every thing I typed went in a straight line across the screen, so you had to have a basic knowledge of stenography to decipher all the symbols for the paragraph breaks and such. I kept it until last year. It still worked, too. I have loved the very idea of computers since the Commodore 64, which we had. We never actually figured out how to make the thing do more than turn on, but we had one. I have had a devoted love affair with computers ever since, although I did not get another one until ’94. Thank Heaven for computers. I love spell check and word count, and justified alignment is the darling of my heart.

    Trina L. Grant | Professional Freelance Writer’s last blog post..Freelance for Mrs. Hotpants

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