Author Topic: IBM Selectric II typewriter sightings  (Read 5029 times)

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PB

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Re:Katzenjammer Typography And IBM Selectric II typewriter...
« Reply #45 on: October 27, 2021, 12:45:58 AM »
I once had a typewriter.  Don't remember getting it or where it came from.  Probably from a relative.  A small but heavy black one, with it's own worn case.  I loved the clatter of the keys when I'd type something - sometimes I'd fat finger it and two keys flying up at the same time would stick together just before they were to strike the page.  Not nearly as cool as the rotating ball, but still cool. 

I got pretty good at using that correction paper, just back up the carriage, put the paper over the misspell, restrike it with the same letter and the white stuff would come off, cover the mistake, back it up again and type right over it.  Kinda messy, but better than starting all over or xxxx-ing it out and leaving it like that.  I used it once in awhile in high school (after I took typing class), and college, and afterward.  Not for school work of course, hell no, nothing was ever required to be typed.  Some of the letters were fainter than others, and a little out of alignment, so not for resumes either.  I don't remember what I ever used it for but I know I did.  I lugged it from place to place whenever I moved, kept it right there in the hall closet if the place had one.

Sometimes years went by and I never even looked at it. 

Then one day I wanted to use it for something.  Lucky thing too that I had one.  I'm looking forward to getting it out, using it again.  I'll just get it out of the hall closet, where the board games and maybe an old umbrella are kept, plus the wrapping paper and maybe a Christmas tree stand.

Where's my typewriter?  I know I left it in here.  It's not anywhere else in the house.  It's just gone?  No one knows a thing about it?  Really?  What, was it taking up too much space?  Thank goodness we have all this room for shoes.  Dammit.


Camazotz Automat

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Re:Katzenjammer Typography And IBM Selectric II typewriter...
« Reply #46 on: October 27, 2021, 01:18:02 AM »
I once had a typewriter.  Don't remember getting it or where it came from.  Probably from a relative.  A small but heavy black one, with it's own worn case.  I loved the clatter of the keys when I'd type something - sometimes I'd fat finger it and two keys flying up at the same time would stick together just before they were to strike the page.  Not nearly as cool as the rotating ball, but still cool. 

I got pretty good at using that correction paper, just back up the carriage, put the paper over the misspell, restrike it with the same letter and the white stuff would come off, cover the mistake, back it up again and type right over it.  Kinda messy, but better than starting all over or xxxx-ing it out and leaving it like that.  I used it once in awhile in high school (after I took typing class), and college, and afterward.  Not for school work of course, hell no, nothing was ever required to be typed.  Some of the letters were fainter than others, and a little out of alignment, so not for resumes either.  I don't remember what I ever used it for but I know I did.  I lugged it from place to place whenever I moved, kept it right there in the hall closet if the place had one.

Sometimes years went by and I never even looked at it. 

Then one day I wanted to use it for something.  Lucky thing too that I had one.  I'm looking forward to getting it out, using it again.  I'll just get it out of the hall closet, where the board games and maybe an old umbrella are kept, plus the wrapping paper and maybe a Christmas tree stand.

Where's my typewriter?  I know I left it in here.  It's not anywhere else in the house.  It's just gone?  No one knows a thing about it?  Really?  What, was it taking up too much space?  Dammit.

That would drive me batshit crazy. I need closure. I need a logical explanation.

Typewriters don't blink out of existence like theoretical elementary particles.

But I become too desperate in such situations, approaching possible candidates with :

"It is  O K A Y  if you took it to Good Will or loaned it to Airhead Susan. Really. It is. It's just driving me crazy not knowing."

Such desperately proffered scenarios quickly become the origin point of fight vectors.

Oy buddy boy watch yer flank, Cam

But I never learn. Cannot let it go.

Because I KNOW there's a damn answer.

There HAS to be.

Else I should take a giant poster of the Periodic Table of Elements and set it aflame in the street in protest.

"What's so evil about Black Sabbath?"
     - George "Georgie"  Cooper Jr.

Camazotz Automat

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Re:Katzenjammer Typography And IBM Selectric II typewriter...
« Reply #47 on: October 27, 2021, 01:41:27 AM »
I experienced the oddest strong strange sense of déjà vu after posting that sentence about burning a science education poster.

That can't be good.

Perhaps Wednesday will be lay low screw off day.

Catch up on some snail mail responses.

(pause)

"It's  O K A Y  ,  time-traveler NOT_BEELZEBUBBELAH if you truncated and then replayed a time stream here, or miscalculated your exit flip point after posting and it invalidated my neural proof. Really. It is. It's just driving me crazy not knowing."
"What's so evil about Black Sabbath?"
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GravitySucks

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Re:Katzenjammer Typography And IBM Selectric II typewriter...
« Reply #48 on: October 27, 2021, 09:38:45 AM »
I once had a typewriter.  Don't remember getting it or where it came from.  Probably from a relative.  A small but heavy black one, with it's own worn case.  I loved the clatter of the keys when I'd type something - sometimes I'd fat finger it and two keys flying up at the same time would stick together just before they were to strike the page.  Not nearly as cool as the rotating ball, but still cool. 

I got pretty good at using that correction paper, just back up the carriage, put the paper over the misspell, restrike it with the same letter and the white stuff would come off, cover the mistake, back it up again and type right over it.  Kinda messy, but better than starting all over or xxxx-ing it out and leaving it like that.  I used it once in awhile in high school (after I took typing class), and college, and afterward.  Not for school work of course, hell no, nothing was ever required to be typed.  Some of the letters were fainter than others, and a little out of alignment, so not for resumes either.  I don't remember what I ever used it for but I know I did.  I lugged it from place to place whenever I moved, kept it right there in the hall closet if the place had one.

Sometimes years went by and I never even looked at it. 

Then one day I wanted to use it for something.  Lucky thing too that I had one.  I'm looking forward to getting it out, using it again.  I'll just get it out of the hall closet, where the board games and maybe an old umbrella are kept, plus the wrapping paper and maybe a Christmas tree stand.

Where's my typewriter?  I know I left it in here.  It's not anywhere else in the house.  It's just gone?  No one knows a thing about it?  Really?  What, was it taking up too much space?  Thank goodness we have all this room for shoes.  Dammit.

My stint as an intelligence analyst at Plattsburgh AFB involved intimate relationships with manual typewriters. I got stationed there in May of 1975 before word processors or desktop computers became common place.

Lowest ranking airmen in my office were assigned a task involving receipt and tracking of classified message traffic from the major 3 letter agencies. This involved picking up the classified message printouts from the Comm center a few blocks away and then typing up a form which described each piece of classified information with certain identification information such as control number, subject, description, classification, originator, date received, etc. The form was about 1/3 the size of a regular sheet of paper. AF Form 310 just jumped into my head.

The form had to be typed in triplicate. Which meant carbon paper needed to be cut and placed in between the forms. The number one rule about filling out the forms was that there could be no typos and no corrections. If you made a mistake you had to tear it out and start over.

I had done a fair bit of typing as a kid but never actually learned touch typing. My mother was a legal secretary so we always had a typewriter at home, actually a manual and an electric. And eventually even a selectric. But it had been years since I tried typing anything. They probably should have included that in our tech school.

You would have to mash the keys pretty hard to get a decent impression on the third form in the stack. It wasn’t graceful and it certainly wasn’t speed typing. Because the forms had fields that had to be filled in, the carbon paper wouldn’t last very long. Most of the carbon paper would be fine, but if you type the date in the same place on 3 or 4 forms, it’s not going to transfer to the paper.

Shortly after I got there the DIA and CIA changed their procedures for disseminating classified information. They had been sending out daily or twice daily compositions of all the messages for a single day. I would compare this to how Media Matters transmits the daily talking points to all the news organizations. Something happened and it was decided that a really important message shouldn’t have to wait for the daily compilation so they began sending out individual messages. I compare this to the AP News Wire. Very sound process improvement. Except it meant that instead of getting 3-4 multi page classified messages per day we were suddenly getting 100-150. A task that used to take 20-30 minutes began taking most of the day.

The other challenge that was unique to the intelligence division at Plattsburgh AFB is that it was a cinder block building with no windows and no insulation in the walls. We had a central steam heating plant on the base, but there were weeks at a time when the temperature in my office area never got above 60. Most people that got tasked with typing up these forms did so with gloves on for parts of the winter.

I remember there was joy in Mudsville the day we got our IBM Selectric in the office with an Orator ball. A major function of my job was to read the intelligence message traffic, and decide which items were the most important to brief to the command staff and the aircrews on alert duty. We would prepare bullet charts for each “news” story. When I got there the only way we had to create these briefings was to use a product called PressType. Dry transfer lettering. You had to position the presstype just so, and then rub each letter with a burnishing tool. This took hours to do for a complete briefing. But the font on the manual typewriters was too small for briefing charts. The Orator ball never really did a good job of making briefing charts. The font was never quite big enough and the quality of the image was seldom crisp.

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We had a huge stock of presstype in every imaginable font. It was great for making your own labels for cassette tapes.
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Camazotz Automat

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Re: IBM Selectric II typewriter sightings
« Reply #49 on: October 27, 2021, 01:31:39 PM »
Great read! @GravitySucks
Thanks!
"What's so evil about Black Sabbath?"
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PB

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Re: IBM Selectric II typewriter sightings
« Reply #50 on: October 27, 2021, 02:09:48 PM »
A giraffe carrying a typewriter walks into a bar...

ItsOver

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Re: IBM Selectric II typewriter sightings
« Reply #51 on: October 27, 2021, 02:20:55 PM »
Great read! @GravitySucks
Thanks!
After all that from GS, you should be in typewriter heaven, Cam.  ;)

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Camazotz Automat

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Re: IBM Selectric II typewriter sightings
« Reply #52 on: October 27, 2021, 02:35:33 PM »
After all that from GS, you should be in typewriter heaven, Cam.  ;)

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Yes, typewriter Heaven AND typewriter Hell:

The thrill of impact victory!
The carbon paper agony . . . of triplicate defeat!

A great pic of Serling w/typewrter indeed.
"What's so evil about Black Sabbath?"
     - George "Georgie"  Cooper Jr.

ItsOver

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Re: IBM Selectric II typewriter sightings
« Reply #53 on: October 27, 2021, 02:49:00 PM »
The thrill of impact victory!
The carbon paper agony . . . of triplicate defeat!

A great pic of Serling w/typewrter indeed.
One would think Rod could have evolved a classic Twilight tale, woven around the typewriter.

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https://offountainpenstypewriters.blogspot.com/2021/01/start-year-off-with-twilight-zone-and.html?m=1

I guess sometimes you can’t see the typewriter for all the keys.

Camazotz Automat

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Re: IBM Selectric II typewriter sightings
« Reply #54 on: October 27, 2021, 05:15:58 PM »
A giraffe carrying a typewriter walks into a bar...

My kind of joke I would have contributed and fought for had I been a writer for Mad Men.
"What's so evil about Black Sabbath?"
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Camazotz Automat

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Re: IBM Selectric II typewriter sightings
« Reply #55 on: November 22, 2021, 12:03:31 PM »
Heh, heh... about time for that avatar, Cam.  ;)  Is this an IBM Selectric find or something else?

Heh heh. Thanks for asking, @ItsOver

It is a portable 1954 Underwood Star.

I was walking down an alley in the late 80s early 1990s and spotted a wooden case in someone's trash. Thank God it was on top and visible. Didn't know what it was until I opened it. The case looks very much like a portable record turntable case.

The Star is anchored to the interior, but can be completely removed from case if desired. I always leave it fastened, and just open up and then back the larger cover half to access to type. Since it is anchored securely, I can store the closed case in a vertical position instead of landscape / hatbox oriented, with no fears of mechanical shifting. I use The Star  for special and brief snail mail correspondence and artistic application. There was a recent project for an editor that required typing several pages, but that is not a typical usage amount.

Two items were missing at time of reclamation:

1) a tiny key for a tiny latch lock on the case.
2) instruction / owner's  manual.

Here is a pic of a very clean one. Mine is a "little"  worn, but thanks to the heavy case, is still near new condition:

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"What's so evil about Black Sabbath?"
     - George "Georgie"  Cooper Jr.

ItsOver

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Re: IBM Selectric II typewriter sightings
« Reply #56 on: November 22, 2021, 12:54:02 PM »
Heh heh. Thanks for asking, @ItsOver

It is a portable 1954 Underwood Star.

I was walking down an alley in the late 80s early 1990s and spotted a wooden case in someone's trash. Thank God it was on top and visible. Didn't know what it was until I opened it. The case looks very much like a portable record turntable case.

The Star is anchored to the interior, but can be completely removed from case if desired. I always leave it fastened, and just open up and then back the larger cover half to access to type. Since it is anchored securely, I can store the closed case in a vertical position instead of landscape / hatbox oriented, with no fears of mechanical shifting. I use The Star  for special and brief snail mail correspondence and artistic application. There was a recent project for an editor that required typing several pages, but that is not a typical usage amount.

Two items were missing at time of reclamation:

1) a tiny key for a tiny latch lock on the case.
2) instruction / owner's  manual.

Here is a pic of a very clean one. Mine is a "little"  worn, but thanks to the heavy case, is still near new condition:

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Nifty.  That looks to be one hefty instrument of composition.

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Re: IBM Selectric II typewriter sightings
« Reply #57 on: November 22, 2021, 08:28:51 PM »
Nifty.  That looks to be one hefty instrument of composition.

It's great. It is a bit of a ritual with me to take it on short trips for ritualistic composition of ideas / notes. Who knows why. Maybe I'm enabling the wandering nature of the spirit  of the previous owner. Heh heh.
"What's so evil about Black Sabbath?"
     - George "Georgie"  Cooper Jr.

ShayP

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Re: IBM Selectric II typewriter sightings
« Reply #58 on: November 22, 2021, 08:36:53 PM »
Okay, so who are the hunt-and-peck people here?  I failed two typing courses but I'll hunt and peck with best of them  :D

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Re: IBM Selectric II typewriter sightings
« Reply #59 on: November 22, 2021, 10:18:37 PM »
Okay, so who are the hunt-and-peck people here?  I failed two typing courses but I'll hunt and peck with best of them  :D

When I crushed my ulnar nerves in January, 1980 my ring fingers and pinky fingers were paralyzed. Look up “papal syndrome”.

In May, 1980 I crosstrained into computer programming at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, MS. As my previous posts about my stint using a manual type writer stated, I did have to type in my previous job, but not all day long like I had to start doing as a programmer. I had to teach myself how to type with just my index and middle fingers using the computer terminals. Over time I got quite good at it.

18 months later when the nerves regenerated, I could begin to move the other fingers but I had become so accustomed to my method I never did completely teach myself how to use those other fingers. I could touch type after several years - not needing to look at the keyboard constantly. Many people would make comments about how fast I could type with just using two fingers on each hand. My pinkies did eventually learn how to hit the shift and return keys so I did make progress.
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