Things I Love: The Typewriter Animated

I love typewriters — the memory of them, that is. I would not like to go back to one now, but a picture of one does bring up pleasant memories. I believe it was around 2000 when I finally gave up my manual typewriter. It was a bittersweet event.

My first typewriter was one that my dad owned, a fat old thing, black with gold lettering, and spidery-looking. I think it was an Underwood. There was that heaviness under my finger tips as I pushed down the keys, and that soft smack of keys against the paper and platen. The carriage moved and I slapped it back into place. Joy.

When Dad would allow us to use his typewriter, we would type up fictional articles for our “newspaper.” That started my lifelong attachment to the keyboard, which gave me a skill that has been my bread and butter for decades.

On another note, I also love classical and orchestral music. It’s the only music you’ll find me listening to these days.

So, when I came upon this animation of The Typewriter, a beloved piece composed by Leroy Anderson in 1950 and first performed by the Boston Pops, I had to share it with you. Animators Richard Haynes and Mikolaj Watt created this short film in 2010. Take a look:

Isn’t that wonderful? Read more about composer Leroy Anderson and his fun composition here.


 

Darla McDavid

I'm Darla, a writer of stories about family, friends, goodness, and God. I love cats, coffee, gardening, and tall stacks of books. Click here to subscribe to my blog. You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram. In my other life, I'm an administrative professional, a Sunday School teacher for preschoolers, and the proud mother of Dan.

11 Comments Write a comment

  1. Darla,

    Wonderful! Thank you for sharing. I was sent this video a couple years back, but without any explanation. Although I enjoyed it then, too, your accompanying story and information about Leroy Anderson added to both my enjoyment of the video, but made me want to find out more.

    I, too, love the typewriter. I still have the first typewriter I ever bought, a Royal Mercury portable. I bought it in 1972 and typed all my college papers and personal correspondence on it for many, many years after. Just tried to use it, but without much success (the platen wouldn’t move). I took a pic, but couldn’t figure out how to attach it to this comment.

    Thanks for the wonderful info and trip down memory lane! You are a blessing to me in so many ways.

    Caroline

    Reply

    • Hi, Caroline — You still have yours! That’s so fun to hear. Oh, how I wish I had my father’s typewriter. I’d have it out on display next to my 1960s telephone. Do you keep yours out? I just searched for the Royal Mercury and found an image on a typewriter site. It looks familiar; we may have had Royals in my junior high school typing class.

      Thank you for your kind words. They are a blessing to me!

      Reply

  2. My grandfather gave me his Underwood typewriter when I was twelve and he was buying a portable Corona. I LOVED that typewriter, and I swear it made me strong–the keys needed a firm touch, and then the manual return–but several years later the old machine gave up the ghost. I kept it for awhile, just for old times’ sake, but it was big and cumbersome and took up too much space. I still miss it.

    Reply

    • I wonder how a 12-year-old child would react to receiving a typewriter today. Corona. That sounds familiar, too … Yes. I just looked it up, and I recall having a Smith-Corona at some point. College, maybe. I did lots of typing for my friends, and I charged them, too. A precursor to my home typing business! … Okay, I just found this video that I think you’ll enjoy. It is hilarious: Kids React to Typewriters https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfxRfkZdiAQ

      Reply

  3. What a fun post. I do miss the tap tap tap of a typewriter. Too bad they could not transfer that to the computer keyboard. I also remembering typing on my dads typewriter, and I wish I still had it. It was one of those black ones that you really had to press down on. Funny I always played as if I was working in an office – a clerk working on a military post (everything I did revolved around me being in the Army!) and look where I am at today working as an administrative assistant!

    Reply

    • Patty, I have a feeling there’s an app for the typewriter tap … I just checked the iTunes App store and, sure enough, there are many. Here’s one that sounds good: Hanx Writer, developed for the iPad and iPhone by actor Tom Hanks, who still uses his typewriter. I’m going to give it a try, just for fun –> https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hanx-writer/id868326899?mt=8

      I love hearing how dads and grandfathers were the ones handing down the typewriters to their children — and we’re still typing today, though with machines that were only in their dreams.

      Reply

      • oh thanks I will have to check them out. It will drive my daughter to distraction!! I can use if for my ipad but probably not for the lap top, but that is ok I will be happy to hear the tap tap tap again!

        Reply

  4. Darla,
    Colette and Ava are enamoured with typewriters! Colette wanted one for Christmas! So, my Dad found a Royal manual typewriter at an antique store and gave it to the girls when we visited them over break. We brought it home and now just need to get a new ribbon for it (it works well, the ribbon in there now is just a bit dry so the lettering is faint). Once we get the ribbon changed out I’ll have the girls bring it in to show you. Thank you for the great article and sharing!! Christina

    Reply

    • Oh, that is so great to hear! I can’t wait to see them with it so I can ask how they became interested. Grandfathers are keeping the typewriter alive. Thanks, Christina!

      Reply

    • Or for when the electricity is out and the battery is dead! I kept one around for those reasons when I had my home secretarial business. Yes, I think I’m going to start looking for one.

      Reply

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