Monday, February 6, 2012

Casulaties of Modern Technology (6 of 12)_ The Typewriter




First of all hello to those of you in Davos, Switzerland, and Montego Bay, Jamaica, who have somehow found time to check us out today. We also wish to congratulate teh citizens of Mali, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Zambia for reaching the finals of the African Cup in world soccer play over the weekend. Lastly, kudos to Eli Manning and the New York Giants for winning the Super Bowl over the New England Patriots 21-17.

And, you thought Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich were the only ones kissing babies left and right!

Today's Casualty of Modern Technology is the typewriter. Since I am a big fan of the Tom Robbins novel "Still Life with Woodpecker" (1980) and the novelist typed the whole work on Remington SL3, that is the image we are going with today.

In his novel, Robbins even alluded to the machinery with the line: "I sense that the novel of my dreams is the Remington SL3_ although it writes much faster than I can spell."

The typewriter was also an external force in the excellent William Burroughs novel "Naked Lunch" (1959), a surreal masterpiece that was turned into a David Cronenberg film many years later in 1991.

There are many serious collectors of typewriters, including actor Tom Hanks and politcian/business leader Steven Soboroff, who has typewriters from Jack London and Ernest Hemingway in his collection.

The legacy of the typewriter, which was first invented circa 1868 remains today as the QWERTY keyboard is found on all personal computer keyboards.

Typewriters became more standard around 1910, and they were gradually implemented into newspaper journalism. The IBM selectic typewriter was developed in 1961 as a replacement for the originals. The newer typewriters were less noisy and printed more effectively.

But, by the 1980s, the world processor evolved, and typewriters were soon allegedly sent off to former Soviet republics, such as Azerbaijan, where even today, the computer is highly preferred.

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