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After a period, two spaces.     Or one.

It’s a generational thing. If you learned to type on a manual typewriter, you likely put two spaces after a period.    Like that. If you learned to type on an electric typewriter or a computer (most everyone), you likely put one space after a period. Like this.

I learned to type on an electric at school and a manual at home. I was a two spacer.    Then I purchased a Mac Plus computer, and I became a one spacer. I prefer one space.

Business Insider’s Farhad Manjoo, offers this commentary: Why You Should Never, Ever Put Two Spaces After A Period

The problem with typewriters was that they used monospaced type—that is, every character occupied an equal amount of horizontal space. This bucked a long tradition of proportional typesetting, in which skinny characters (like I or 1) were given less space than fat ones (like W or M).

Monospaced type gives you text that looks “loose” and uneven; there’s a lot of white space between characters and words, so it’s more difficult to spot the spaces between sentences immediately. Hence the adoption of the two-space rule—on a typewriter, an extra space after a sentence makes text easier to read. Here’s the thing, though: Monospaced fonts went out in the 1970s.

© 2017, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.


Still typing in Myanmar

Image from Fox News (see here).

Remarkably, we still live in an age where in some parts of the world, typewriters are necessary. In Myanmar, typists have seen demand for their trade decline, but many still thrive. A report from Fox News relates: “Aung Myint says his work is steady enough, but a far cry from the days of military rule, when he spent most of his time typing up authors’ novels for submission to the now-defunct censorship board. He rarely broke for lunch back then, often working by candlelight well after shops were shuttered and businessmen had long gone home.”

Video: BBC News – The slow death of Myanmar’s typewriter industry

Article: Fox News – Typewriters, telegrams, other reminders of bygone era persist in fast-changing Myanmar

© 2017, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.

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Galbreath mailer for rebuilt machines: 1926

The market for rebuilt typewriters was brisk in the 1920s, evidence that manufacturers could scarcely keep up with demand. Factory rebuilt machines afforded consumers opportunities to own a typewriter at a discount, and students were often targeted.

In 1926, a C. Gyer Mason received an advertisement from Galbreath Typewriter & Adding Machine Company in Rogers, Ohio, pitching rebuilt typewriters. “My dear student,” began the typewritten portion of the mailer, “Are you still interested in securing a typewriter or in taking a course in touch typewriting? We have some very fine rebuilt machines in stock and can save you considerable money on the purchase of a machine at this time.”

Mason must have been interested in a machine, for he kept the envelope and mailer, which are featured in this post. Then, his family kept the keepsake, until finally it ended up on eBay and subsequently my collection. Whatever machine he purchased, if he purchased one, he certainly could have gotten a good deal. A Hammond #12 sold for as little as $10.

The mailer is pre-printed card stock, the inside pages including both typewriters and business machines. Evidently, Galbreath mailers had one design, which served both students and businesses.

Note: Click on images, including the one above, to view larger files.

A bit about Galbreath:
Asher A. Galbreath was a known quantity, and his biography can be located on Wikipedia (see here). A man of diverse skills, he served in political office and as president of the National Typewriter Company. In elected office, he rose as high as state senator. The typewriter company bearing his name seems to have thrived from 1918 through 1948, extending several years past his death in 1935.

An early advertisement from 1918 –

An article (June 1924) relating to his bid for lieutenant governor (he lost the two times he ran) –

One of the last advertisements I could find for Galbreaths, dating to 1948 –

© 2017, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.