Bruce Bliven, Jr. offers an interesting chapter on the early history of speed typing contests, and I was hoping to find some film footage on YouTube.1 The earliest I could find is a 1959 contest (and also a trailer for a movie from around the same period, more or less). The Ron “Typewriter” Mingo news footage is fascinating.
1959 contest in Vienna:
Populaire movie trailer:
Ron “Typewriter” Mingo:
Ron “Typewriter” Mingo on Real People:
Post high school, I could type 70 words per minute. I learned the summer after I graduated, intending to become a journalist.2
© 2013, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.
Great column and You Tube find. Thanks for writing it!
We’re going to have to check out the Bliven book, The Wonderul Weiting Machine.
I looked this all up because we just finished watching the delightful, light romantic comedy, Populaire, whose trailer you feature here.
NOTE: The movie is actually from 2012 and set in 1959. They captured the flavor and coloring of movies of the period so well (perhaps more akin to those of the early 1960s in Living Color and Technicolor), it’s an understandable mistake. Thought you would like to know!
Oh, I should add that the movie was set in 1959, so that’ some more connection.
The ultimate question is– who really invented the type ball? I suppose it’s off to Google to find out!