When I was a little girl, my parents gave me a child’s blue typewriter so I could write my little stories and plays. It was a Sears Tutor model made in England, and I recently found it in a box of some things I was going through. It’s funny how something that was special a long time ago can immediately transport you back in time, and it happened with my childhood typewriter as I tapped on the keys and surprised myself with the bell that (still) rings when the carriage is returned!
Typewriter keys and returning carriages have long been replaced by our modern technologies, and while the new versions are appreciated for their speed and sophistication, there’s something reassuring about relics from our past. My blue typewriter, with its hardshell case, is in remarkably great shape although a new ribbon would be needed to actually use it. The only real wear on it is on the case’s handle, where the glue remnants of a label that once bore my name remain.
There probably are a lot of people – generations, actually – who’ve never typed on a real typewriter. You would set your page margins with sliding buttons along the silver ruled guides, and lift the aluminum arms to support the paper as you typed. Computer-talk of responsive, clicking keyboards came from the “clackety” sound of these early typing machines, and a more descriptive word may never have been coined.
While exploring my blue typewriter, I was reminded of the typing color options that could be selected with the small lever on the right side – red for the fancy stuff, white for stencils, and black for everyday use. I remember choosing red when typing a copy of my Aunt Amelia’s strawberry pie recipe, thinking myself clever to match it with the red strawberries!
The recipe was a close approximation of then-popular restaurant Shoney’s strawberry pie, one of my favorites. And although it is typed in the strawberry-matching red, it’s clear my typing skills were in the the early learning stages … and somehow I managed to leave strawberries out of the listed ingredients!
In addition to typing copies of recipes, I mostly used the typewriter to write little stories and sometimes plays. These “works of great literature” for the most part didn’t survive the years, but a handful remain and they’re funny to look at through the eyes of an adult whose fingers haven’t graced a typewriter in a long time, now preferring her iPad and Mac.
I remembered something that as a young girl I really enjoyed creating and typing – lists of things! I always was interested in people’s favorites, and enjoyed making lists of my own. So, today I thought it would be fun to recreate this kind of Q&A list I used to make on my little blue typewriter, and share it for your answers! (At first I didn’t plan to answer the questions for myself, but thought it only fair if I’m asking you to answer them.) Enjoy!
What things from your childhood have you held on to, and what do they make you remember? Share your memories in the comment box below!