La vie est belle !

Royal Changes

This post is part of SoCS: http://lindaghill.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-314/

From Linda G Hill’s blog:This week your Prompt will be ‘change’ in any form or definition of the word. Play with it, and have fun!

Royal Typewriter

“Royal Typewriter” by forgotten details is licensed under CC BY 2.0

So I asked my mom today if she still had that old typewriter that she used in my dad’s office when I was a little girl. She said she’d gotten rid of it a long time ago, sadly. I was thinking it would look great as a decoration in my hobby room where I have my computer, my piano and my books. I was hoping that if I dusted it off and managed to find a ribbon for it, then I might even be able to use it to make whimsical notes, letters, cards, etc. and mail them to people. How cool would that have been?

It was a Royal brand portable manual typewriter, black, with a case. She told me it had been her brother’s before she got it, probably bought around 1945. It’s a piece of technology which is completely obsolete but which has such romantic connotations for anyone interested in writing. The vision of the writer, alone in a small, darkly decorated room, the sound of the typewriter the only noise. I used to love the little bell and the mechanical ratcheting sound of the carriage return.

My mother’s hands were strong, to be able to type on such a machine. The keys had to be struck firmly and evenly, and the keystroke was fairly long. It was not unlike playing an even scale exercise on the piano, really. She has some arthritis in her hands now, and I’m not sure she could still do it, but you never know. I loved to play on the typewriter as a small child.

In high school, I had an Apple IIc computer at home, complete with a lovely dot-matrix printer. At school we used the Apple IIe.

I didn’t actually learn “touch-typing” until I was in college and had to “type” a lot of papers for my classes. By that time I was using a “state of the art” Apple Macintosh computer at the college computer lab. These were the clean shiny things in the room next to the “VAX” terminals used by the computer geeks like my husband 😉  By the way, I am “typing” this post on an iPad… Big changes!

Macintosh classic.jpg
Macintosh classic“. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

 

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17 Responses to “Royal Changes”

  1. Agnès

    En français, on parle du cliquetis de la machine à écrire , je pense que tu aimeras ce mot.,,Jerry Lewis imitait bien cet engin.

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    • jetgirlcos

      Merci, Agnès. Oui, bien sûr j’adore ce mot 🙂 Quand j’étais à l’université, je me souviens d’étudier la musique de Leroy Anderson y compris “The Typewriter” !

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  2. Deborah

    I learned to type on one of the first electric machines that were made, but I had plenty of chances to type on those lovely Royals. I love the way you remember the sounds of the bell and the racheting. Nice trip down memory lane. 🙂

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  3. Myas

    Very nice post. I’m a Mac girl myself. Before Mac I had a word processor that I loved – it allowed me to type and print papers in the convenience of my on-campus apartment sitting in my comfy clothes with a pot of coffee at my side.

    Now I have a MacBook Pro…. but I wouldn’t mind an iPad to add to the repertoire.

    Changes indeed!

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  4. LindaGHill

    Lovely post! I’m so glad you joined in on SoCS!
    I learned to type on one of the old Underwood where, if you weren’t careful, you’d get your fingers jammed in between the keys. It hurt! 😛 Life is so much easier now, isn’t it? 😀

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  5. Sammy D.

    Quaint little piece. Mom “kept books” for a motor supply company and she and I were both whizzes at the adding machine and typewriter. Slinging that return handle with gusto. Can you imagine trying to be a writer and redoing all the drafts on a typewriter?Yikes.

    I guess I used one in college to type my papers, but I don’t remember that at all.

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    • jetgirlcos

      Oh yeah, the adding machine too! My mom used that one, and taught me a little “10 key touch” when I was little. I thought it was so much fun. Maybe that’s why I love “office supplies” so much. My mom let me play with them when I was a kid 🙂

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      • Sammy D.

        LOL oh boy do I have a couple of good office supply stories gelling for posts! That is so funny that you like them too.

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  6. morgaine620

    oh dear, I learned touch typing on one of those and can remember how hard it was to get the buttons (you don’t call them that I know) down. But touch typing is one of the things that I learned at school and that helped me a lot. Great post!

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  7. Island Traveler

    I actually used one of these in high school. Yes, we need strong fingers to use them. They do bring back wonderful nostalgic memories and reminds us the many blessings of a simple, humble life. All the best to you and your family.

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  8. A.PROMPTreply

    Oh, my dad had one of those old Royal typewriters in a case! It was turquoise though. But I do know what you mean….we have really had alot of change since growing up hearing those keys and smelling those ink ribbon smells! Remember carbon paper and those little white strips to make your corrections with? It’s easier now I guess, but doesn’t seem as personal as that old typewriter. I hadn’t thought about that in years!

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    • jetgirlcos

      Oh yes, carbon paper was another favorite “toy” of mine when I was small. Also was lucky enough in 5th grade to be a teachers “helper” and run the ditto machine!

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