As students, our projects and assignments had to be neatly typed before submission . And most trooped in to typewriting institutes to seek the services of a typist. I was lucky, since my grandfather’s typewriter - the Underwood Champion - was available at home and weeks of practice every summer had ensured that I had not totally forgotten how to type. To save on money, I painstakingly typed the first draft of my thesis ( for my postgraduate requirement). It was an effort considering that those days we had no whitener solution to mask the errors. All we had was a typewriter eraser that was made with hard rubber, that invariably smudged the paper. And one had to master the art of typing with just the right amount of pressure, so as not to puncture a hole in the paper. Well, when I went to my advisor with the draft, she had one look at it and asked me to change the typist!
I continued to use the typewriter for many years ( and had subsequently improved my typing skills!) till a problem cropped up with the space bar of the machine. And the guy who came in to repair the more recent typewriters ( this is about 15 years ago) had no clue on how to set it right. And there it was laid to rest…. Until I read this blog of note.
I gather that the typewriter is made of 1800 movable parts! And that factories that made typewriters used the same equipment and methods as factories that made guns, and so, when US entered the Second World War, most of the manufacturers changed to making rifle barrels as there was more need for arms.