The vanishing typewriter


Today we are going to Muse more about change. If this is your first visit, welcome to Musings. If you have been here before, welcome back. Over time we are going to talk about many things: the past, the present, perhaps the future, travel, art, society and more. Wherever my musing takes me. I hope you will come along with me.button linked to Tribbyart's Boutique     This is the way to Tribbyarts Boutique.  Click on the lion and you will go there.

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The vanishing typewriter

Last week I wrote about change.  Several people responded to me with their own stories of change. It got me thinking more on the subject.

When I was in high school, a rite of passage was learning to type.  My mother insisted I learn.

I was one of two or three guys in a class full of girls.  Wow! Did I struggle.  I was clumsy and prone to mistakes.  Must have had thick adolescent fingers.

Girls took the class because being a secretary was one of the best work opportunities available at the time.  School teacher, nurse or secretary. . . . those were the common opportunities.

I took the class because my mother said I would need it in college. At the end of the school year, the typing teacher gave me my grade, a C .  She said, “I bet you never thought you would pass this class.”  I was dumbfounded.  It never occurred to me that I might not pass.  I might not have been very good, but I didn’t think it was possible to fail typing.

Olivetti Typewriter

Olivetti Typewriter

When I graduated high school my graduation gift was an Olivetti typewriter .  I used it all through college.

Bearded Tom

Bearded Tom

My folks moved to France after I left home for college.   During the summer between my Freshman and Sophomore year while staying with them, I grew a beard. I thought I was pretty sophisticated.   On my way back to college when I went through customs carrying my typewriter, I was  taken to a private interrogation room for questioning.  During the interrogation, the agent disassembled the typewriter, paying special attention to the hollow inside of the roller.  They found nothing of course.  Just an early example of profiling:  I looked different.

So what is the point?  The point is typewriters are gone, a part of history.  As recent as the 1980’s they were in every office and business.  There were manual typewriters and semi-automatic typewriters, like the IBM Selectric machines which used a ball of fonts instead of keys.   Most offices had many typewriters.

IBM selectric key ball

IBM Selectric key ball

.. Now gone.  I don’t know when I last saw one.

Word processing made them obsolete.  I remember explaining  word processing to my mother, who had worked at various times as a secretary.  The idea that an entire document could be typed, edited and printed with multiple copies if desired in one process intrigued her.  Gone was the need of carbon paper, erasers and white out.  Available were multiple fonts of various sizes and in color.  Best of all there was spellcheck!  Now that is progress!!!

On a different subject, a friend sent me an entertaining set of graphics.  You might enjoy them.  Here is the link:  33 Graphs That Reveal Painfully True Facts About Everyday Life

more to come

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Books by Thomas L. Tribby Available Click on title below to preview

Works on Paper

On The Waterfront

Impressions of Florida


Original Paintings Available

A Day at the Beach       oil on canvas            40" x 60"

A Day at the Beach oil on canvas 40″ x 60″

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   Beach Time Oil on Canvas      48" x 36"
Beach Time Oil on Canvas 48″ x 36″

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Beach Parade Oil on Canvas    30" x 48"
Oil on Canvas 30″ x 48″

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Lifeguard on Duty     Oil on Canvas          36" x 48"
Lifeguard on Duty Oil on Canvas 36″ x 48″

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About Thomas L. Tribby

Professional artist: painter, sculptor, print maker. Maintains a studio in West Palm Beach, Florida
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