Long before computers, there were typewriters.
Typewriters that did not come with spell checker or backspace keys that would instantly wipe out mistakes.
What to do? Well, a variety of really quite bad products and items were invented to deal with this problem.
White Out is perhaps the best known. It was invented by a secretary, who also happened to be the mother of my favorite Monkee, Michael Nesmith. It’s also known for its inhaling qualities, which can lead to anything from brain damage to a funny looking white mustache.
When visiting the Mall in Washington DC with my daughter we came across this sculpture. I knew she would have no clue what it was. She guessed for a long time (I pointed out the ones I had owned were much smaller).
If you are over 40, you of course know this is a typewriter eraser, with a brush to wipe away the hopefully erased mess. If you are over 40 you know this also worked horribly and usually resulted in a hole in your paper.
I remember using erasable typewriter paper, which did erase well. In fact, it would erase on your hands, clothing and anything else it touched. White Out, while working well as a cover up, and you could retype over your mistake, was known for sometimes just flaking off. I have to admit I would sometimes white-out a white-out, until there was a small mountain of it on the page. I blame myself, and not the product, for the flaking problems I encountered.
Today, hurrah for computers, spell check and auto save and printers.
Long may typewriter erasers, that no one I can find can say a good word about, reside as sculptures! This makes much better art than it ever did as an eraser.
- The Little Black Typewriter (keepdreamingdarling.wordpress.com)
- Got my very first typewriter (augusthowl.com)
- The Remington that started it all … (ohremington.com)
Categories: General Stuff!