It made that …rat-a-tat-tat-tat..sound that was so very satisfying.
Satisfying for some people. For story tellers, journalist, letter writers, and poets.
For those up against a hard deadline for their term paper or homework assignment, the sound conjures up disquieting memories.
That sound comes from only one source…the typewriter.
Believe it or not there are many on our planet who still use the old fashioned typewriter.
Actor Tom Hanks uses one. Actually, Hanks has over 250 in his personal collection. He says that 90% of them are in good working condition.
Musician John Mayer uses one.
My good friend and fellow Jefferson County historian Jon Harris uses one. I get typed letters from him quite often. It is a reminder of a simpler time.
In Berkley, California there is a small shop that sells and repairs typewriters.
The famed store is known as California Typewriter.
Herbert L. Permillion, III purchased the store in 1981.
By trade he is an IBM man who serviced Selectric Typewriters for almost 20 years.
It is a family owned and operated business.
Their master typewriter repairman is a man by the name of Kenneth Alexander, a Smith Corona man. He has been working on typewriters for over 38 years.
The store is featured in a film applicably named California Typewriter.
The Show features Tom Hanks as well as other notable people.
Some sources say the typewriter dates back to 1714. However, the first typewriter that actually worked was produced by a man named Pellegrino Turri, circa 1808. He was an Italian and he produced his machine for Countess Carolina Fantoni da Fivizzano—she was blind.
Ironically, the first successful commercial production of the typewriter was facilitated by a Danish pastor Rasmus Malling-Hansen in the year 1870.
The Sholes & Glidden Type Writer was the first production company to achieve success in America. Their machine went into production in 1873 and was on the market by 1874.
The company was owned by Christopher L. Sholes. He was a newspaperman and a poet and thankfully an inventor.
Typewriters since then have advanced and helped change the way individuals work and communicate with one another.
Sam Shephard, who is another actor/writer featured in the movie, California Typewriter, crafted his scripts and plays using an old fashioned typewriter.
Shepherd says there is something tactile about using a typewriter.
Bob Dylan wrote some of his songs on a typewriter.
I suppose if the typewriter had been popular during his life, Abraham Lincoln would have used one.
Sadly, using a typewriter is going the way of the Abacus.
Some argue that the computer is more efficient. Perhaps.
But I wonder if by using one we are loosing touch with who we were as a society?
Maybe I’m just being nostalgic.
I just wonder what technology will erase next? The pencil?