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The British Newspaper Archive

British Newspaper Archive

Read about historical events at the time they were happening. Perhaps you'll discover your ancestor in their local newspaper?

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Elizabethofseasons Report 21 Jun 2013 21:31

Dear All


For those of us old enough to remember papyrus and pen and feather,
the typewriter was a wonderful invention. :-)

Sadly, it has been replaced by odious and technical things called computers.

My question is do you still use a typewriter and did you learn to touch type?

Take gentle care
Best wishes



eRRolSheep Report 21 Jun 2013 21:41

I larntd to titch gtoop


AnnCardiff Report 21 Jun 2013 21:51

I can touch type - learned on a very antiquted machine - was very pleased typewriters were replaced by computers as you need no strength to type any more and mistakes can be easily rectified

I used to have to type reports on A3 paper - very thin aeromail type paper - in batches of twelve for a meeting - showing the present month in black and the corresponding previous month in red - that meant typing all the black first, then sliding red carbon paper behind all the black and switching to the red ribbon - if you made an error, you had to go through all twelve sheets of paper to do the correction

One of these reports for every department in the cigar factory where I worked - the production figures, sickness figures, transport etc. Very time consuming and fiddly


YG Report 21 Jun 2013 22:02

I learnt to touch type at school, to music (of sorts!), We had a very traditional teacher with her hair in a roll, tweed skirt and brown brogues. She used to walk up and down between the desks checking that we were using the correct fingers on each of the keys.

Oooh, carbon paper. I remember it well, AnnC. I also used to have to type onto Gestetner stencils. What fun that was when it came to putting them onto the machine to print out the documents.


LaGooner Report 21 Jun 2013 22:15

I learned to touch type at college where I did my Business studies. I hated doing accounting but boy it has come in useful now as we have our own business and guess who does the books :-| :-| :-|


ChrisofWessex Report 21 Jun 2013 22:19

Ancient Royal machines with a wooden box over the keyboard - no chance of looking at the keys!


AnnCardiff Report 21 Jun 2013 22:41

Gestetners YG - yuk - and that red liquid wax for corrections

I always favoured the Imperial 66 - best manual typewriter on the market - apparently it was so good that it caused the ruination of Imperial


YG Report 21 Jun 2013 22:53

I have to agree with you about computers, AnnC. Definitely my preference over the typewriter :-)


LadyScozz Report 22 Jun 2013 03:26

I learned at school on a monster Imperial 66........ and we had to make an "apron" to tie around the machine, over the keys, so that we couldn't see! Horrible teacher, she would creep around the room and put her freezing cold hand on the back of our necks, and if we made a mistake (who wouldn't, with that hand?!) she would pinch our neck or pull our hair.

I remember typing to the William Tell Overture/The Lone Ranger............ dadadumdadadumdadadum ding return........... and I got the giggles...... and had my hair pulled.


Purple **^*Sparkly*^** Diamond

Purple **^*Sparkly*^** Diamond Report 22 Jun 2013 07:30

I went to evening classes after I left school in 1963 to learn to touch type - failed my exam as I didn't hand in all the papers, found one in my bag when I got home, I was in a hurry to meet a fella after class lol

It didn't hold me back tho, most of my many jobs including typing (I used to get bored so moved on to next job with more money, those were the days, go for an interview, get the job, give a week's notice and on to the next place)

I remember typing the stencils for Gestetner etc and good old Tippex I bought a secondhand electric typewriter and did typing at home for some friends who were self employed, a landscape gardener and a plasterer. I think I still have an Imperial machine at home somewhere, my Dad got it when his office closed and it ended up with me.

By the time computers or word processors became standard office equipment I had stopped working full time as I had my son, but the touch typing came back to me the minute I started using a computer. It's like riding a bike I suppose, you never forget.



LadyScozz Report 22 Jun 2013 08:17


Many (more than I like to remember) years ago we had computers in the office (a drawing office) I stopped telling people I could type........ because I got stuck with entering their data into the computers (no data entry people in our place).

I do remember one fella, a Polish man in his 60s, sitting at the keyboard for ages......... staring........we had a password (our initials, really secure lol)........ he asked me if I could help him........ what's the problem? I can't sign in........ why not? the keyboard doesn't have a Z. lolol

I have a Canon Electric typewriter..... the ribbon can only be used once....... no idea why I keep it.... maybe I'll donate it to a museum :-)



Dermot Report 22 Jun 2013 15:33

Typewriters were invented by the Devil.

Well, that's what I always thought when I used them with my two 'good' fingers.

But I suppose it was a step-up from putting pen to papyrus.


DazedConfused Report 22 Jun 2013 20:05

Was taught how to type in school. We had all manuals of varying ages and makes. Some so ancient.

Loved it when I left and started work and most firms I worked for had electric typewriters.

Then we got computers YIPPEE..
:-D :-D :-D


Bobtanian Report 22 Jun 2013 20:29

I was taught in the Army, as a TG op we were trained to hear the morse and type it onto ancient 'caps n numerals only' imperial typewriters, or upto 30 words/minute..........or write it onto message pads.......


StrayKitten Report 22 Jun 2013 20:32

i still have a typwriter up in mums attic, :-D

i couldnt touch type on it, but can now on the laptop, ;-)


GinN Report 22 Jun 2013 21:01

Had an ancient type writer to write letters on when I was a Branch Librarian up in Durham. Never used one before, so it took me ages to compose a letter. It absolute ly flummoxed me when the ribbon came to an end, so thanks to Jim from the Social Security office next door. Forever in your debt, Honey............. <3


Cynthia Report 22 Jun 2013 22:21

So many memories........carbon paper, Tippex, spools and ribbons, Gestetners and pink correcting fluid.............those were the days!

Saw a video on FB a few days ago where a woman, who hadn't worked for many years, was lured back to office work. It shows her sitting at the computer keyboard merrily touch typing away when, suddenly, up shoots her left hand and she swipes the computer to the floor in one clean movement! Obviously a fixed video, but very reminiscent of 'returning the carriage' Made me laugh.....:-D :-D


Persephone Report 23 Jun 2013 01:06

I did three weeks on the typewriter and then went on to the teleprinter.

They were such a wonderful invention, correction was easy and sent telegrams all over the country and around the world.

The last place to do away with the service was India just a week or so ago.

And yes I am a touch typist whose fingers often go quicker than the brain and type in the incorrect spelling of word which more often than not gives a different meaning to the word. Have to watch out for the odd transposition of letters as well.. could mean anything..



maggiewinchester Report 23 Jun 2013 09:45

I was taught audio typing in Lerwick.
The teachers were two wonderful ladies from Caithness, whose . similarity to Miss Jean Brodie was incredible!!


Persephone Report 23 Jun 2013 13:39

and so we now have our very own gel Maggie ... one of the the crème de la crème.