Did you ever hunt and peck on an old typewriter. The first typewriter I used was the one my mother received as her graduation gift from high school. It was a Royal, green in color, with a ribbon that first went through going right to left then reversed to go left to right. Every once in a while you had to buy a new ribbon.
Actually, even using that typewriter was an improvement. When I was in high school I had to hand write everything. The last straw was when I wrote an essay for a conservation contest. Every time I tried to write it I made a terrible error somewhere close to the end. I gave up and pitched the thing in the wastepaper basket.
The next day the science teacher told us that even if we did not intend to enter the contest we had to turn in an essay! I went home and dug the thing out and started again. It should be noted here that at that time I was using a pen that you injected ink into. I remember my essay was done in a beautiful shade of aqua ink. My problem was that often the pen left globs of ink on the paper instead of writing as it was supposed to.
Long story short I turned in my essay for the contest and won a third prize for it. I even got excused from school for an afternoon to attend a conservation meeting to read my essay for them!
When mom dug her portable typewriter out for me to use I was delighted. I had seen her type on it often so I knew what it looked like. Believe me; it was much better than writing by hand. That old typewriter served me well. When I was graduating I received a brand new Olympia model to use for college work.
If you ever used manual typewriters you know that they had a rather heavy touch. You really had to press down on the keys hard. Since my high school schedule had not left room to take a typing course, I devoted one summer taking a course in typing. I was in with many business students so I learned all the ins and outs of business typing, not just personal typing which was offered during the school year.
I used my typewriter all through college and well into my teaching career. I even used it to type on those old purple masters that we used to use on the roller of the ditto machine. Remember those purple fingers we got when we picked up the wet masters?
When I launched a resume business I traded my portable model in on a business typewriter. What a joy that machine was with its delicate touch and automatic paper feeder. If I made a mistake on a resume, I still had to retype the whole thing because whiteout was not acceptable.
I also used that typewriter to produce articles about the county fair. It was not until a local bank offered a computer as a premium for depositing that I switched to the computer. Even though my first machine was an Apple that proved to be a dud as far as retrieving things from, it was a step up. Making corrections on the computer were much simpler than retyping things. I saved my pieces and even cut and pasted to make things work.
I also introduced my students to the use of computers for editing. Although they hated to type, they loved the ease of correcting once I had checked over a composition. They were sold.
The other day my granddaughter complained about having to hand in a hand written copy of an assignment. She had used a computer to produce her original so she did not want to go backward. In the end the teacher accepted the computer copy.
Computers have certainly changed things. I do not pretend to know everything about my computer, but I know what I need to know for what I need to do. It is wonderful to produce a piece then copy it and send it off to the newspaper.
When I first started my newspaper work, I wrote out the meetings, then called the newspaper and dictated the article to the man/lady at the other end. I thought I really had it made when I bought a fax machine and could send my things that way, but that is still slower than using the computer.
I remember one of our neighbors was very proud of her office model typewriter. She even had a commercial stand for it. It was kept in a small room that was just off her dining room so it was handy when she needed it. I do not suppose anyone could have convinced her to use a computer. She was over eighty years old when she died so I guess I do not blame her for frowning on "modern conveniences".
When I took over as farm secretary as swell as the bill paying person, I was happy that I used a computer. At that time I was kind of on the cutting edge since most farmers did not use computers. Today it is different. Farm families use their computers to surf the Internet as well as to advertise what they sell, pay bills and sell their products.
Did you attend the family farm tour a few weeks ago? It was really very nice. We saw what the farmers had to offer as well as a glimpse into the work that goes into the industry. I learned a lot about our area.
Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell, PA. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org