Aug 012011

Despite what many of you may believe, there was a time before computers, tablets, laptops and smartphones. This was a time when we had to actually T Y P E our term papers. The single biggest selling typewriter of all time was the IBM Selectric. It was introduced on July 31, 1961, making it now 50 years old.

My Mom insisted on me taking a typing class in high school, and I remember learning in a classroom full of Selectrics under the eye of Mrs. Sheila Sisk. Boy, am I glad I took that class. Back in those days one could pay people to type a term paper for one, and lots of college students made extra money because they could type, and owned a typewriter. But I can’t imagine life today without knowing how to type, and at a decent pace.

Those Selectrics were marvels in their day. You could actually change fonts and type faces…admittedly you had to change the little typing ball to do that, but how cool was that. IBM also built them so they could be used as an interface device for the IBM / 360. (Read More)

I haven’t seen one in a long time, and I don’t even know if they are still manufactured, but here’s to that one on the second row in from the courtyard windows about three desks from the back of the room in Mrs. Sisk’s “Office Technologies Class,” and to Mrs. Sisk for making my life livable in today’s computer age.

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