Typing tidbits - big, small and mobile

Keyboards are so ubiquitous now that we take them for granted and sometimes forget what a newsworthy and amazing device they could be back in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Can you imagine the astonishment of the crowds at the Panama-Pacific Exhibition in 1915 when confronted by the sight of an Underwood 14 ton typewriter that was 21 feet wide and 15 feet high?

Typing tidbits - tirades and troubles

While some saw the advent of typewriting as a wonderful process, some other early commentators had their doubts about the quality that ensued. The Sydney Morning Herald of July 1909 includes a diatribe about the poor quality of the typewriting one can expect from “uneducated girls” who don’t understand what they are transcribing.

Stapling it!

Zinesters and staplers - an essential tool, but sometimes a source of frustration. Jamming at the critical moment, running out of staples on the last zine, crumpling and tearing that perfect page, but what would you do without them? The "Golden Stapler Awards" for zine excellence, due to be announced at the National Young Writer's Festival on 1st October, prompted me to look back in time to some vintage staplers.

Typing tidbits - rainbow ribbons

Did you think those old red and black typewriter ribbons you may remember from the 1960s and 1970s were the limit of colour typewriting before the age of the computer and colour printing? Not so! Here’s an article from the Melbourne Argus way back in 1893 marveling at the invention of a multicolour ribbon and  “the rainbow dance of the typewriter”. I must say, the "lady in prince-nez" providing the demonstration sounds rather formidable!  

Typing tidbits - a royal typist!

I know that many zinesters have a fondness for typewriters, so this is the first of a series of posts where I'm going to indulge myself and share with you some quaint/curious/quirky/interesting articles from early editions of Australian newspapers recently digitised by the National Library and available via Trove.
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