Gaynor Paynter – Podcast – Radio Today

Edward Chamberlain Bell Show Saturday 25 Jan 2014 – @thewordofed @TypewriteSA – the team chatted to Renate Klass from Executrain and Gaynor Paynter from Typewrite Transcription

Looking to take your career to the next level but lacking that competitive edge? Renate Klass from Executrain joins the Radio Today studio to share her advice with everyone looking to taking their careers to the next level. ExecuTrain has over 30 years’ experience in the training business. They are highly regarded internationally for delivering customised training that is unique as the individual or organisation receiving it. They provide training solutions for everyone for matriculants looking to gain the competitive advantage or the seasoned executive looking to up-skill.

Today might be the best day to call them if you want to take your career to the next level.

If the corporate world doesn’t appeal to you, and you have an entrepreneurial streak, then Gaynor Paynter from Typewrite Transcription shares the highs and lows of being your own boss. Unfortunately, working from home doesn’t mean a life of leisure as you still have to create effective boundaries between work and family; then there are operational expenses, daily administration and difficult customers that you have to get through before you actually settle down to doing the job that you love doing.

Don’t be discouraged, Gaynor advises people to overcome their fear of going solo- but be open-minded about the challenges ahead of you. / @ExecuTrainSA / @TypewriteSA

The Edward Chamberlain-Bell Show is broadcast on Saturdays from 12h00 to 13h00 (GMT+2).

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Typing Facts

This section will be updated often as facts become available, watch this space.
  • On average, a secretary’s left hand does 56% of the typing.
  • The words ”stewardesses” and ”reverberated” are the longest words (12 letters) typed with only the left hand.

  • The longest words that can be typed using only the right hand in proper typing form are ”lollipop” and “monopoly”.
  • Check this out, look at your keyboard, the only ten letter word that you can spell with the top row of letters is “typewriter”.
  • Skepticisms is the longest word that alternates hands when typing.

  • Birdie Reeve Kay, born Birdie Reeve, was an American champion typist who performed in the 1920s in vaudeville. She reached speeds of over 200 words, or 800 letters, per minute, and was billed as the “World’s Fastest Typist”.

Barbara BlackburnBarbara Blackburn from Salem, Oregon, was the fastest English language typist in the world. Blackburn maintained a speed of 170 wpm for 50 minutes using a Dvorak keyboard, as recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Typing Speed Explained

Most poeple know that typing speed on a computer keyboard is measured in words per minute (wpm). Since words are not all the same size it would not be fair to measure someone’s typing speed counting the actual number of words taken randomly from a textbook. Consider the following sentences:

  1. I often drink coffee.
  2. I embrace serendipitous happenings.

Sentence #1 has 4 words, 21 characters including 3 spaces and 1 period. Sentence #2 has 4 words as well but is much longer with 35 characters including 3 spaces and 1 period. Both sentences have 4 words and if you type them in one minute you type at 4 wpm. Right? No, this is wrong.

Based on this calculation a person taking a typing test with lots of sentences like #1 will perform almost twice as fast as a person taking a test containing lots of sentences like #2, because the words in sentence #2 are much longer than the ones in #1. This is not correct obviously because sentence #1 contains 21 characters v.s. 35 for #2.

To remedy this, in the definition of typing speed (source below) a word is defined as 5 characters, including punctuation signs and spaces.


  1. I often drink coffee => Five 5-letter words.
  2. I embrace serendipitous happenings => Seven 5-letter words.

With this definition the typing speed (wpm) is linked to the number of characters so it can be measured across different texts and languages.

Quick facts about typing speed

  • An average typing speed is considered to be between 50 to 70 wpm, and the fastest people can reach is 180 wpm and above. Two-finger typists (easily found in countries that do not have typing classes, like France, that did not figure out that computers are not going away anytime soon and still do not teach typing in schools) can type between 27 to 37 wpm for the fastest. Handwriting is usually between 22 and 31 wpm, and books on tape are recommended to be recorded around 150 wpm.
  • In conclusion, touch typing is one of the fastest way to enter text into a machine. As opposed to using the mouse, some argue that using keyboard shortcuts is also the fastest way to operate a computer graphical interface.


The Arrival of Women in the Office

Partners in PerfectionThe typewriter is almost obsolete in the modern office. But it played a crucial role in women’s arrival in the workplace, explains Lucy Kellaway. In 1887, Rudyard Kipling met one of the new breed of typewriting girls while visiting San Francisco. They aroused in him a mixture of fear and fascination, insisting that their work was enjoyable and their “natural fate” – that was until Kipling questioned further. “Well, and after?” said I. “What happens?” “We work for our bread.” “Till you die?” “Ye-es, unless,” said the partner in the firm audaciously, “sometimes we marry our employers – at least that’s what the newspapers say.” The hand banged on half a dozen of the keys of the machine at once. “Yes, I don’t care. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it!”

  • Lucy Kellaway is an author and Financial Times      columnistLucy Kellaway
  • The Arrival of Women in the Office, is broadcast at 13:45 BST on 25      July
  • Episode five, The Telephone and New Office      Technology, is broadcast at 13:45 BST on 26 July
  • The Magazine will be running articles based on      edited transcripts from this series for the next fortnight

In offices today almost all the most boring tasks are done by women. At the photocopier, at the filing cabinet (or its digital equivalent) and on the reception desk – it’s females only. So much so that when a few years ago I came across my first male PA I was almost as shocked as Kipling. This feminisation of office work happened incredibly fast. Until the late 19th Century there were no women in offices at all. In 1870, there were barely a thousand of them. By 1911 there were 125,000 and by 1961 there were 1.8 million, in 2001 there were 2.5 million female clerks. But how did it all begin? A photograph taken in 1899 shows a young woman sitting on a desk, legs crossed with one foot on her chair. She’s wearing a nice pair of shoes and there’s a bike leaning against her desk. On the desk a half-eaten apple, a glass, a desk calendar, some files and… a Remington Standard 2 typewriter. It’s a pretty racy picture for the time – you might even be able to see a hint of her upper shin, never mind ankle. But what it does show is a new type of working woman with the twin instruments of emancipation – the bicycle and, more importantly, the typewriter. As the American Journal noted in 1898: “No expert can manage either the typewriter or the bicycle while she is held in a close-fitting cage of whalebone and steel.” The typewriter girl, like the typewriter itself, was an American export.

1 commercial typewriter

The first commercial typewriter was produced in 1873 by E Remington and Sons

The first machines with the Qwerty keyboard were triumphantly brought on to the market by the US gun-maker E Remington and Sons, in 1873. But far from being popular they were a total flop and probably would have stayed that way, had not some bright spark in the marketing department had the great idea of flogging them to women – to the daughters of middle-class businessmen. “The typewriter is especially adapted to feminine fingers. They seem to be made for typewriting. The typewriting involves no hard labour and no more skill than playing the piano,” wrote John Harrison, in his 1888 Manual of the Typewriter. In the stores at the Museum of London are some early typewriters, including a very early Hammond model, which looks like a mahogany toilet seat. “The major brand was the Remington,” says Alex Werner, head of collections at the museum. “They produced beautiful adverts with attractive women typing away.” The keys were made for dainty figures. My fingers, clad in plastic gloves, are too clumsy. The typical typist was a liberated woman. Novelists and playwrights – George Gissing and JM Barrie – were fascinated by her, creating heroines who wore no-nonsense clothes, rode a bicycle, took up smoking and hung out with anarchists in the English countryside.

George Gissing and JM Barrie

Writers George Gissing and JM Barrie were inspired by typical typists, who they saw as liberated women, often incorporating them into their work as heroines

A real life version of these pioneers was Janet Hogarth, who became the Bank of England’s first ever female clerk in 1893. She was a high flier in her day. She had achieved first class honours in philosophy from Oxford and was a skilled linguist. But her job was a boring one. “It was monotonous, essentially dealing with cancelling bank notes, sorting them and crossing them off in the ledgers,” says John Keyworth, curator of the Bank of England’s museum. Women were cheaper than men, and took over the jobs that were previously filled by young boys, who would have been supervised by an older man because it was so mind-bendingly boring. “They gave her six months to learn the job,” adds Keyworth. “She mastered it in a very short time.” Hogarth writes of it in her autobiography. “It was almost unbelievably soothing to sit in the quiet upper room with nothing to do but lay out banknotes in patterns like patience cards,” she wrote. “Learning all about the little marks on them, crossing them up in piles like card houses, sorting them in sixties and finally entering their numbers in beautiful ledgers made of the very best paper, as if intended to last out all ages.” In the late 19th Century it was inconceivable to have men working alongside typewriter girls, for fear of damage to their morals. Precisely how the damage was meant to occur, no-one was quite clear, but it was thought best to keep the sexes entirely separate. So men and women had different entrances, different working hours, different dining rooms and often worked behind screens or in attics so that no man could see them. These intrepid typewriter pounders… should fill in their spare time washing out the offices and dusting same, which you will no doubt agree is more suited to their sex” Liverpool Echo, 1911 An autobiography by a male employee at the Bank of England recalls how ridiculous it all was. “The streets it was held were safe enough, but once she the woman clerk entered this forbidding fortress every imaginable horror was predicted,” wrote the author. But that wasn’t all. So as to avoid the danger of typewriter girls on the loose, many employers refused to let them out during their lunch break. Women at the Post Office were not allowed a midday breath of fresh air until 1911 – and that was only after a kicking up a huge row and making personal appeals to the postmaster general. So how did men feel about their new female colleagues? The answer – predictably – was that they weren’t happy at all. Part of the hostility was fair enough. The women were an endless source cheap competition. A particularly patronising piece was published in the Liverpool Echo in 1911: “These intrepid typewriter pounders, instead of being allowed to gloat over love novels or do fancy crocheting during the time they are not ‘pounding’, should fill in their spare time washing out the offices and dusting same, which you will no doubt agree is more suited to their sex and maybe would give them a little practice and insight into the work they will be called up to do should they so far demean themselves as to marry one of the poor male clerks whose living they are doing their utmost to take out of his hands at the present time.”

Birdie Reeve Kay

Birdie Reeve Kay, a champion typist capable of more than 200 words a minute

But actually the arrival of women in the office wasn’t altogether bad for men. If they had working daughters – as many did – their households were better off. And as women were given the most tedious things to do, men’s chances of promotion were higher. And then, of course, the women were easy on the eye and possible candidates for future wives and mistresses. Why the fuss about Mad Men’s look?

whats the fuss about mad mens looks

The 60s were cool. No, not the flower power, tie-dye, beads in your hair end of the decade, but the beginning of the 60s, when people worked in stark, smooth modern offices, and wore sharper clothes. Or so Mad Men would have you believe. But what’s so noteworthy about the look of Mad Men? Meanwhile, at the Bank of England, the chief accountant, a Mr Stuchbury, was hard at work with his stopwatch calculating whether employing women was such a good idea after all. He studied a question that has always interested me – are women more conscientious than men. His answer was much as I’d figured out for myself – yes. He found that 37 women had counted as many notes as 47 men, and with fewer mistakes. But he also noted that women were off sick more often than boys (which is still pretty much the case). Stuchbury thought this was a clincher, but the secretary managed to head him off, pointing out that long term, women worked out a lot cheaper. There was, he argued, “a considerable future saving of expense… when it is borne in mind that women clerks would not attain higher pay than £85 against £300 earned by all other clerks.”

Stuchbury women typing

In other words, the great thing about women was that you didn’t have to promote them. The glass ceiling was in evidence (only then it was set at roughly ankle height) from the very start. The girls show a zest and zeal which no boy thinks of emulating” Janet Hogarth There was another good thing. Thanks to the marriage bar (which, extraordinarily, stayed in place until the 1960s), the supply of women was constantly replenished – as they married and left, new girls took their place. But what of the women who didn’t get married? Well they got promoted – but only a little. It was their job to look after the younger typists. This was the plight of Hogarth. She wrote with some bitterness: “The girls show a zeal and zest which no boy thinks of emulating. But the trouble comes when they grow to be middle-aged women and are still kept at work only fit for beginners. They have become mere machines.” Hogarth left the bank in 1905 for a job as principal of Cheltenham College – possibly more fitting to a woman of her intelligence. It would be a while before a woman had a crack at the interesting stuff at the Bank of England. More than 100 years later, we’ve had four women on the monetary policy committee, though still no female governor. This piece is based on an edited transcript of Lucy Kellaway’s History of Office Life, produced by Russell Finch, of Somethin’ Else, for Radio 4. Episode five, The Telephone and New Office Technology, is broadcast at 13:45 BST on 26 July Article source: Updated: July 25, 2013 at 8:57 pm Posted by Warren Fyfe 24 July 2013 Last updated at 21:37 ET

World Record Typists

World Record Typists

By Kimberly Bowen


Have you ever wondered how someone becomes the fastest typist in the world? Some consider the keyboard and knowing where each letter is as the key to helping them type quickly. Others worry about knowing how to spell the words they’re typing. Still others say finger placement is the most important factor.

Some of these world record typists can type more than 150 words per minute (wpm). This is lightening fast considering that the average typing speeds are between 50 and 70wpm, and even slower if you hunt for the keys, which means you probably type closer to 30wpm. If you’re trying to increase your typing speed, typing software can help you learn where the letters are on the keyboard and how to place your hands. It can take you through typing lessons that can train your fingers to find the keys by feel.

A Vaudeville Act to Reflect On
In the 1920s and ‘30s, Birdie Reeve Kay could type between 200 and 300 words per minute on her manual typewriter, according to the Chicago Tribune. The Washington Post named her the world’s fastest typist in an article from 1928. Her typing abilities and knowledge of words made her a Vaudeville star.

Barbara Blackburn vs. Barbara Gaines

The Guinness Book of World Records’ fastest typist currently on record is Barbara Blackburn. She earned her place by typing 150wpm for 50 minutes. Barbara Blackburn’s typing success came from using a Dvorak Simplified Keyboard (DSK) instead of a standard QWERTY keyboard layout. When she types on a DSK, she can type even faster, at 170wpm. In 1985, Barbara appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman and beat Barbara Gaines, the fastest typist at The Late Show office, in a typing contest.

Throwing Out Numbers
Michael Shestov typed 801 numbers in five minutes, without any errors, using the number keys along the top of the keyboard, according to CNN. He can type in 27 languages. He learned how to type while working for the Russian army as a clerk.

Mobile Phone Typist
Cheong Kit Au from Australia made the Guinness World Records on January 26, 2011, for typing a 264-character text on a mobile phone’s QWERTY keypad in one minute and 17 seconds. He participated in the LG Mobile World Cup World Championship in New York.

This Person Nose How to Really Type Fast
Neeta from India is the fastest nose typist in the world, according to the Guinness World Records. On November 16, 2008, Neeta, from India, typed 103 keyboard characters in one minute and 33 seconds. The contest was held at the Guinness World Records Pavilion in Global Village, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Typing the Alphabet
T.C. Girivasan, from India, can type the English alphabet in 4.71 seconds. He made the Guinness World Records on November 28, 2010, with his rapid typing. He beat the previous record of 5.03 seconds set by Jayasimha Ravirala on June 20, 2010, according to

These world-class fastest typists all practiced to increase their speed and strengthen their skill. Their age wasn’t a factor in their ability to type. They just spent a lot of time typing. You can increase your speed as you work on your typing skills as well. Who knows, you may become the next challenger for the fastest typist awards.


Barbara Blackburn the world’s fastest Typist

Barbara BlackburnIt gives me great pleasure to post this article on my website and tell you about a remarkable lady from the world of typing. I introduce you to:

Barbara Blackburn, the World’s Fastest Typist


Mrs. Barbara Blackburn of Salem, Oregon maintained a speed of 150 wpm for 50 min (37,500 key strokes) and attained a speed of 170 wpm using the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard (DSK) system. Her top speed was recorded at 212 wpm. Source: Norris McWhirter, ed. (1985), THE GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS, 23rd US edition, New York: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

What is the secret as to how Barbara Blackburn could type so fast? The key, so to speak, is in the keyboard design. Blackburn would type on nothing but the Dvorak keyboard, which has vowels on one side and consonants on the other, with the most frequently used letters on the center row. “It makes much more sense than the standard, so-called Qwerty keyboard (named after the first five letters on the top row),” Blackburn said. In fact, it was the Qwerty keyboard that was her undoing in high school typing class back in Pleasant Hill, Missouri.

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“Typing was the bane of my existence.” She remembered how her I-minus (I for Inferior) typing grade kept her from graduating at the top of her class. As it was, she graduated third in a class of 46 students. In 1938, as a freshman in business college, Blackburn first laid hands on a Dvorak keyboard. She took to it like a fish to water. In only a few years her speed was up to 138 words per minute.

Blackburn had been such a whiz in her other high school classes, it was no surprise that she would attempt to better her record as a typist, given a chance. The Dvorak keyboard was what gave her the chance. When a representative of the Royal Typewriter Co. came to her business college looking for someone to train as a demonstrator of the Dvorak keyboard, she decided to give it a try.

In no time at all she was as good a typist as she was a bookkeeper and stenographer. She had won statewide contests in the latter two fields as a high school student, but the woman who taught all three courses at Pleasant Hill “was ashamed to admit I was in her typing class,” Blackburn remembered.

Carrying her own Dvorak typewriter with her wherever she worked after graduation from business college, Blackburn’s extraordinary talents paved her way. From 1939 to 1945 she worked as a legal secretary, and when she decided she needed a change of pace and left the law firm, “I left with the reputation as the best legal secretary in Kansas City,” she proudly recalled.

Suddenly there was a mad scramble of executives trying to nab her for their personal secretary.

Blackburn next worked at an electronics company, first as office manager and then as a sales engineer. She did speed typing demonstrations at the Canadian National Exposition and the Canadian Educational Conference. It was then that she was clocked for the the Guinness Book of World Records, in which she was listed for a decade as the world’s fastest typist (the category has since been removed). Blackburn went to work at State Farm Insurance in Salem, where she was employed in the word processing department until she retired in 2002.

Also, she starred in a television commercial for Apple Computers, which offered a switchable Dvorak-Qwerty keyboard with its Apple IIc model. When she was in New York to tape the commercial, she appeared on the David Letterman Show. But Letterman made a comedy routine out of what she thought was to be a serious demonstration of her typing speed, and Blackburn felt hurt by the experience. In her own words:

“The show aired on Thursday night, after I had returned back to Salem. They had taken my PR photo and blown it up to gigantic size) with the typewriter sitting on a stand (covered with a Plexiglas cover) in front of me and a little to the side with three men seated at a table with a big copy of my Thursday night paper sitting on an easel at the side. My photo took up the entire area behind the men. Letterman was standing beside the typewriter – his opening remark was “No doubt Ms. Blackburn is a very nice lady, but she has to be the biggest fraud and con artist in the world.” That he is still running it about every year completely astounds me! I have a complete tape of all of my TV appearances during my publicity reign, but I REFUSE TO WATCH THE LETTERMAN FIASCO.”

In the intervening years, Letterman’s comedy style has become better-understood and we’ve grown more accustomed to it. Nevertheless, anyone who has seen her whizzing fingers in action, as well as the flawless results on paper (her error frequency is two-tenths of one percent), can have no doubt that Barbara Blackburn will forever hold her place as the world’s fastest typist. Mrs. Blackburn passed away in April, 2008.

— End —


Permission granted to post Article about Barbara Blackburn by Sonya Pulvers (Barbara Blackburn’s daughter)


From: Sam Sent: 07 January 2014 22:32
To: Alison Fourie
Subject: Re: Feature article on website



Thank you so much for asking permission. Absolutely that would be fine, my mother was an incredible woman and an icon when it comes to the world of typing.

Have a great day.


Sonya Pulvers (Barbara Blackburn’s daughter)

—–Original Message—–
From: Alison Fourie
Sent: Jan 7, 2014 5:22 AM
Subject: Feature article on website


I would like to ask your permission to place your article about Barbara Blackburn on my website I run a typing company and I found your article very interesting, and would love to display it on my website.

Looking forward to hearing from you.


Regards Alison

AMF Typing Services©® Est 2001




A Brief History of Typing, Typists and the Typewriter

James L. Qwerty

Lets begin with a little typewriter history. The first practical typewriter was manufactured by Remington, then an armaments company, in 1873. However, writing machine patents had been around much earlier and go back as far as the 1700s.

The keys on the early machines jammed easily but this problem was solved by splitting up the keys of the letters commonly used together. This resulted in the famous QWERTY keyboard, so named not because it was invented by James L Qwerty but because these were the first letters on the top left hand of the new keyboard.

Major drawbacks of the traditional typewriter include the need to replace the typewriter ribbon on a regular basis and the difficulty in correcting mistakes.

In spite of many attempts to redesign and improve the Qwerty keyboard, it remains, to this day as the input medium for modern computers including PDAs, tablets and laptops and also many gadgets such as mobile phones and blackberries.

Women and the Typewriter

In the 1910 US census over 80% of typists were women. Similarly the job of a secretary became associated in North America and Europe almost exclusively with women.

By the 1900s Typists often worked in typing pools, a faceless document production line where employees were assessed by more by the number of words per minute they could handle rather than their ability or worth as a human being. The only men expected to sit at a typewriter were writers and authors.

Barbara Blackburn was the fastest typist in the world in 2005 maintaining a speed of 150 words per minute for 50 minutes and reaching 170 WPM for shorter periods.


The traditional role of the secretary as personal typist, coffee maker and general dogs-body has been challenged by Hollywood since the 80s through a number of movies.

The anger of women about the perception of them in business as second-class citizens and servants of men was neatly summed up in the Dolly Parton movie and song ‘Nine to Five’ with accompanying typewriter percussion.

Melanie Griffiths in ‘Working Girl’ struggled to be taken seriously in a financial world dominated by men with Ivy League educations.

The slightly controversial movie ‘Secretary’ focuses on a concenting BDSM relationship which is underpinned by the traditional male fantasy of the secretary as a ‘sub’. This is emphasised by the boss (James Spader) spanking his secretary (Maggie Gyllenhaal) for typing errors which she deliberately makes because she enjoys the punishment.

Picture From the Virtual TypeWriter Museum

"One day, Mr Crevis, you'll be able to surf the net for sexual gratification but for now you'll just have to make do with me and my typewriter..."
“One day, Mr Crevis, you’ll be able to surf the net for sexual gratification but for now you’ll just have to make do with me and my typewriter…”

Sexual Overtones?

This slightly perverse view of women and typewriters can be traced right back to the turn of the century. This promotional picture for a new typewriter model clearly has sexual overtones. Surely the focal point of the gentleman’s interest isn’t the typewriter?

Decline of the Typewriter

The decline of the typewriter began around 1980 when the first word processors appeared on the shelves. The decline increased with the advent of the personal computer and affordable word processing software packages.

The demise of the typewriter in turn lead to the fall of the typist, the typing pool and the traditional view of a secretary. But this dramatic change had a tremendous positive impact on the perception of women in the office and the careers of women.

The Future

The new information technologies enable everyone to do their own typing and printing, setting women free to take a more equal role in business. Although the job of typist has all but disappeared, accurate touch-typing and keyboard skills are still in demand and typing courses, both online and on CD are still very popular.

Amazingly the qwerty keyboard has survived all of this change and is even used, in rollup form, with Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs).

However, It is just a matter of time before voice recognition, touch screens such as Apple’s Ipad or Iphone, virtual world technologies and position and motion sensing devices, consign the traditional keyboard to the garbage can.

Meanwhile women and men are still typing away at qwerty keyboards, instantly recognisable with space bar and shift key, to a time traveller from more than a hundred years ago.


Typewriters in Music

Typewriters iTypewriter and mucic 1n music

  • The composer Pablo Sorozábal includes in a scene of his zarzuela La eterna canción (1945) a typewriter, accompanied by an orchestra and vocal soloists: the scene is in a police station, where a policeman is deposing witnesses, and is singing while he types the report.
  • The composer Leroy Anderson wrote The Typewriter (1950) for orchestra and typewriter, and it has since been used as the theme for numerous radio programs. The solo instrument is a real typewriter played by a percussionist. The piece was later made famous by comedian Jerry Lewis as part of his regular routine both on screen and stage, most notably in the 1963 film Who’s Minding the Store?.
  • Pink Floyd used a typewriter, complete with carriage return bell, as a percussion instrument on their song “Money” (1973)
  • A typewriter provides the percussive backing for Stereo_Total‘s “Dactylo Rock” – the first song from their debut album (1995)
  • An Estonian prog-rock band In Spe features typewriters as a rhythmic instruments in their album Typewriter Concerto in D Major (1994)
  • A suite of songs entitled “Green Typewriters” is on The Olivia Tremor Control’s album Dusk At Cubist Castle (1996), and the sounds of typewriters can be heard in a few of the sections.
  • American singer-songwriter Marian Call accompanies herself on a typewriter on “Nerd Anthem” (c. 1998)
  • American musician Beck‘s 2005 music video for “Black Tambourine” features typewriter characters to animate Beck’s moving and playing guitar.
  • The title track of Heernt‘s 2006 album Locked in a Basement prominently features the typewriter as a percussion instrument.
  • The Boston Typewriter Orchestra (BTO) has performed at numerous art festivals, clubs, and parties since at least 2008. The group consists of a half-dozen performers who use typewriters aspercussive musical instruments, under the slogan, “The revolution will be typewritten”.
  • South Korean improviser Ryu Hankil frequently performs typewriters, most prominently in his 2009 album”Becoming Typewriter”.
  • Lead singer/songwriter Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam types many of the band’s lyrics on vintage typewriters.Typewriter and mucis 2
  • In the film The History of the Typewriter recited by Michael Winslow, voice sound effect performer Michael Winslow recreates the sounds of 32 typewriters from history.
  • The word “typewriter” is often cited as the longest English word that can be typed using only one row of keys of a QWERTY keyboard. This is untrue, since “rupturewort” (a kind of flowering plant) has 11 letters, while “typewriter” has only 10. Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary defines “uropyoureter” (12 letters).
  • A sentence which uses every letter of the alphabet (a pangram), “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” can be used to check typewriters quickly.
  • The early Resident Evil video games used a typewriter as the save feature, and used one ink ribbon per save.
  • The opening title sequence of Murder She Wrote prominently features Jessica Fletcher touch typing a manuscript with a 1940’s style Royal Typewriter. Although in one episode Fletcher rejects a character’s offer to sell her a computer to replace the old Royal (which he calls a “dinosaur”), towards the series end, she, too begins using a computer and word processing typewriter.
  • In Rome the Altare della Patria, National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II, used to be nicknamed “the typewriter” because of its strange shape and popular dislike.
  • The 2012 French comedy movie Populaire starring Romain Duris and Déborah François centers around a young secretary in the 1950s striving to win typewriting speed competitions.
  • 2012 AU Education Research claimed that proper typing position and distance to the screen are the main factors of typing faster.


Authors and Writers who had relationships with a Typewriter

 Authors and writers who had notable relationships with typewriters.
  • Early adopters Henry James dictated to a typist.
  • Mark Twain claimed in his autobiography that he was the first important writer to present a publisher with a typewritten manuscript, for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876). Research showed that Twain’s memory was faulty and that the first book submitted in typed form was Life on the Mississippi (1883, also by Twain).
  • Others, William Faulkner’s Underwood Universal Portable sits in his office at Rowan Oak, which is now maintained by the University of Mississippi in Oxford as a museum. William S. Burroughs wrote in some of his novels—and possibly believed—that “a machine he called the ‘Soft Typewriter’ was writing our lives, and our books, into existence,” according to a book review in The New Yorker. And, in the film adaptation of his novel Naked Lunch, his typewriter is a living, insect-like entity (voiced by North American actor Peter Boretski) and actually dictates the book to him.
  • Writer Zack Helm and director Mark Forster explored the potential mechanics of the “Soft Typewriter” philosophy in the movie Stranger than Fiction, in which the very act of typing up her handwritten notes gives a fiction writer the power to kill or otherwise manipulate her main character in real life.
  • Ernest Hemingway used to write his books standing up in front of a Royal typewriter suitably placed on a tall bookshelf. This typewriter, still on its bookshelf, is kept in Finca Vigia, Hemingway’s Havana house (now a museum) where he lived until 1960, the year before his death.

J. R. R. Tolkien was likewise accustomed to typing from awkward positions: “balancing his typewriter on his attic bed, because there was no room on his desk”. In his Foreword to The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien stated that “the whole story … had to be typed, and re-typed: by me; the cost of professional typing by the ten-fingered was beyond my means.”

  • Jack Kerouac, a fast typist at 100 words per minute, typed On the Road on a roll of paper so he would not be interrupted by having to change the paper. Within two weeks of starting to write On the Road, Kerouac had one single-spaced paragraph, 120 feet long. Some scholars say the scroll was shelf paper; others contend it was a Thermo-fax roll; another theory is that the roll consisted of sheets of architect’s paper taped together.[19] His rapid work earned the famous rebuke from Truman Capote, “That’s not writing, it’s typing.”
  • Another fast typist of the Beat Generation was Richard Brautigan, who said that he thought out the plots of his books in detail beforehand, then typed them out at speeds approaching 90 to 100 words a minute.
  • Tom Robbins waxed philosophical about the Remington SL3, a typewriter that he bought to write Still Life with Woodpecker. He eventually did away with it because it is too complicated and inhuman for the writing of poetry.
  • After completing the novel Beautiful Losers, Leonard Cohen is said to have flung his typewriter into the Aegean Sea.[citation needed] Don Marquis purposely used the limitations of a typewriter (or more precisely, a particular typist) in his archy and mehitabel series of newspaper columns, which were later compiled into a series of books. According to his literary conceit, a cockroach named “Archy” was a reincarnated free-verse poet, who would type articles overnight by jumping onto the keys of a manual typewriter. The writings were typed completely in lower case, because of the cockroach’s inability to generate the heavy force needed to operate the shift key. The lone exception is the poem “CAPITALS AT LAST” from archys life of mehitabel, written in 1933.
  • Late users Andy Rooney and William F. Buckley Jr. (1982) were among many writers who were very reluctant to switch from typewriters to computers.

  • David McCullough bought himself a second-hand Royal typewriter in 1965 and it has been the sole piece of technology in producing the manuscripts of every book this two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Times bestselling author has published.
  • Hunter S. Thompson kept a typewriter in his kitchen and is believed to have written his “Hey, Rube!” column for on a typewriter. He used a typewriter until his suicide in 2005.
  • Harlan Ellison has used typewriters for his entire career, and when he was no longer able to have them repaired, learned to do it himself; he has repeatedly stated his belief that computers are bad for writing, maintaining, “Art is not supposed to be easier!”
  • Author Cormac McCarthy continues to write his novels on an Olivetti Lettera 32 typewriter to the present day. In 2009, the Lettera he obtained from a pawn shop in 1963, on which nearly all his novels and screenplays have been written, was auctioned for charity at Christie’s for $254,500 USD;[55] McCarthy obtained an identical replacement for $20 to continue writing on.
  • Will Self explains why he uses a manual typewriter: “I think the computer user does their thinking on the screen, and the non-computer user is compelled, because he or she has to retype a whole text, to do a lot more thinking in the head.”