This month's topics were every bit as interesting as the others. One thing that came up this time was word processing. School kids these days really think they are put upon when they must compose essays or reports or papers ON A COMPUTER with spell check and that green underline thing that tells us the sentence structure is a bit off. Well, we older gals had something to say about that as we were explaining how we used to write papers to my DIL and the three school aged children who were tea totalling with us. First off, does anybody remember manual typewriters? I was so thrilled to receive my very own Smith Corona portable (manual) typewriter as a high school graduation from my grandma. It gave me freedom from having to always find a typewriter on campus to write my papers. With my portable, I could just sit in the
70's Smith Corona Typewriter (mine was tan, not groovy aqua like this)
Ten Typewriter Terms or Methods for People Over 45.
1. Pica versus elite
2. Backspace, insert correct-o-tape, type letter, backspace and type correct letter.
3. Wrists up.
5. Everyone typing in sync as the drill sergeant teacher quipped, "Eyes on the book and....." fff (space) fff (space) f (space) f (space) fff (space), g (space) g (space) ggg (space)!"
6. Someone getting off sync with the rest of the class.
7. Five minute warm-ups. Hands at home position and..... type! Count your words, divide by 5 to get your words per minute.
8. Centering a heading by first dividing the number of characters between the margins by 2 (to find the center point) and then backspacing once for every 2 characters in the heading.
9. Changing the ribbon.
10. Carriage return.
I can't leave the typewriter topic yet without mentioning my Grandma H. She always, always wrote her letters to us on a typewriter with an italic font so for the longest time I had the impression that she had perfect penmanship. She would change the ribbon now and then from black to green to a purple-blue color which furthered my hunch that she also wrote with varicolored pens. What a surprise I had when our family went to visit her in Iowa and I discovered her sitting at the kitchen table typing letters and cards on her little portable typewriter. How I loved to watch her fingers fly over the keys.
Back to Tea Party......
After discussing the evolution of typing into keyboarding, we talked about making copies. Do you remember when everything was a Xerox? "Please make a xerox of this test. Thirty copies." But let's go back even further. Can you? Does the word mimeograph conjure up any old school memories? I could remember back to grade school, somewhere around 4th or 5th grade, when teachers made mimeograph copies. First the original had to be typed on some sort of paper that was similar to a carbon copy (another flash back) and then it was attached to the mimeograph machine where it was If you could become the teacher's pet, you might even get to learn how to run the mimeograph machine and make copies for Teacher. We old girls racked our brains trying to remember the name of that machine until at last our memory chips brought it up. Here's an explanation of how the mimeograph machine worked, told much better than I could:
The image transfer medium is a stencil made from waxed mulberry paper. This flexible waxed sheet is backed by a sheet of stiff card stock, with the sheets bound at the top.Didn't you just love the smell of a freshly mimeographed copy? Oh, and the school newspaper was mimeographed too. Do you have any old-school typing memories to share? Please do.
Once prepared, the stencil is wrapped around the ink-filled drum of the rotary machine. When a blank sheet of paper is drawn between the rotating drum and a pressure roller, ink is forced through the holes on the stencil onto the paper. Early flatbed machines used a kind of squeegee.