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Not a “dastardly invention”

From The Phonetic Journal, June 4, 1892 —

© 2019 – 2018, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.

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Pretty girls at work

A female typist related the following in an interview for the press in 1885: “The modern typewriter has done more for female wage-workers than all legislation could do. It is essentially female employment to operate a typewriter, because girls are nimbler, neater and steadier at it than men. The only exception to this rule is the profession of the law, many lawyers preferring male typewriters, who can sit up of a night and finish a brief if required to get out a set of papers. Girls are too delicate for that sort of labor, though they are faster and more systematic workers than men.”

She commented that most professions open to women paid between $8 and $12 per week, but typing offered as much as $15 per week for especially nimble fingers.

From the Brown & Holland Shorthand News, August 1885 —

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© 2019, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.

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In an old bookstore

I don’t know, I just fancied it,
And for a few dollars, purchased it.
Now, thumbing through its pages,
The leaves, brimming with thought,
I find myself in another place and time…

In an old bookstore, I picked it out.
But, now, that door is shut.
The shelves are empty.
Some other business there to find,
But no books…

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© 2019, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.

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Hall Typewriter: Slow?

Index typewriters were cheap, but unpopular among stenographer/typists. Why?

Check out this excerpt from a letter in the Brown & Holland Shorthand News, August 1884 —

The publication reprinted this piece, April 1885 —

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© 2019 – 2018, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.

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Giving sight to blind typers

On the earliest typewriters, the typebars swung upward, striking the underside of the platen, and out of view from the operator. Known as blind typers, only a redesign of the machine would make them visible. Or… one could employ this contraption, as mentioned in Scientific American, May 12, 1894:

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© 2019 – 2018, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.

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