i was born in the ealry 90s, so technically i have never used frequently something liket that, but i used it a couple of times (when i was a kid for playing) and it felt great. Now, if i tried this one more time, i would feel myself weird and out of time. This is why, the typewriter is perfect to get more vintage as it gets!
Long story short, the typewriter is a computer and the printer in the same place. It sounds great, but it’s not! It was very used in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Also in the 80s typewriter was diffused, but the computer was taking over pretty quickly and the introduction of the printers make thing pretty clear: tipewriter were no more welcome in the world.
What was actually a typewriter? The name itself explains it. As i said before, it was a computer and printer in the same thing, because you could type something and it was already printed on paper. It was a revolutionary invention, thinking that before the typewriter the handwriting was a normal thing. Books and newspaper were printed (i mean, Gutenberg printed the Bible centuries before), but the printers were still too expencive, needed too long and the they were too huge for a domestic spread. Not great conditions to improve the spread of printing. But with the Typewriter everything changed, because handwriting was not necessary anymore and you could actually print everything you wanted. Let’s say that the Typewriter was the father of Microsoft Office!
Like all things of the 20th century, the use of the typewriter was quite simple: you loaded the paper into it (one sheet at a time), fixed it to the machine and at each written line the sheet was rolled up on a roll. Once you finished the page, you pulled it off or you can turn the sheet around and write on the other side. There was only one problem: mistakes.
We are talking about writing and printing in the same time. Now with Office, if you make a mistake, you can correct it and if you print something and you realise that something is wrong, you can re-open the file, fix the error and print again. Back in the day, you could not do that! Once you made a mistake, you had to throw the entire piece of paper away. The most annoying and frustrating moment was when you have written both sides and in the end of the second side you made a mistake. That means that you had to throw away the entire work sand do it again. When my mom was working, we are talking about the late 70s, early 80s, if you wanted to work as a secretery you had to learn how to use the machine with skills, because mistake were not actually allowed, because it was a waste of time and a waste of paper…even if in those days recycling was not actually the problem number one in the world.
The introduction of the typewriter brought also another huge change: everything was standardized. Before it, everything was written per hand, which means that there were people with a great calligraphy and other with a bad one. Sometimes it was very hard to decode what the other wrote. With he Typewriter all the documents had the same charachter and the same size. I wasn’t there, but i thing it was a huge step futher and a relief for the people in the 80s to finally understand what the document was about. It’s not case that a lot of documents looked exactly the same as character and size.
I just think about myself with the typewrite: i would have lost the will to write a blog instantly, because i make too much mistakes while i write and i can only imagine how much paper i would have wasted just for one little stupid post! I’m glad that the typewriter now belong to museums! They helped humanity to make a step forwards, but it was also time to make something better!