When I had to make my choices at age 15 in school, I wanted to be in the practical stream so that I could learn what I thought were more valuable life skills – domestic science and typing/shorthand/bookkeeping. Instead I was forced into the academic stream, where I studied mathematics and Latin. I still maintain that more practical skills would have served me better. Being a teacher myself, I know that parents are supposed to teach us household skills, but not all parents do. My mother taught me to wash, iron, and sew but she would never allow other people in her kitchen so my cooking skills are basic. My father taught me to wire a plug, change a tap washer and a car tyre, but he felt that other things were ‘men’s work’. Even today I battle with taxes.
My luck turned up though, because I learned typing and shorthand (T-line) when I trained as a journalist. I learned on old manual typewriters. And later, when I taught CARR (Computer Aided Research and Reporting), I taught 500 first-year university students how to type on computers. Nowadays it is a skill that everyone has, but back then, it definitely it wasn’t.
If any of my readers has typed on an old manual typewriter you will have memories of
- having to hit those keys hard
- tangles of keys
- worn out typewriter ribbon
- carbon paper
- typewriter correction pencils (pre-Tippex)
- the carriage return bell
- the carriage return lever (the origin of the return key)
So I was delighted to see this gorgeous little charm on Etsy.It’s a manual typewriter with pearls, sapphires and rubies.
I also have a little typewriter charm on my vintage bracelet (complete with carriage release handle)
There is also this gorgeous Kate Spade typewriter bag