1957: The Year In Typewriters

I continue to be delighted with vintage magazines, this time another article in that November 1957 issue of Good Housekeeping has me thinking how advice on buying typewriters from 1957 might be of use to the collectors of typewriters today.

According to The Latest Word On Buying Typewriters, 1957 was a (at least semi) pivotal year for typewriters:

If you’re one of the many thousands of people who haven’t bought a typewriter in years, you’re in for some surprises.

Some of the gadgets offered on modern machines include easy-do ribbon changers, concave keys for finger comfort, automatic devices that show the number of type lines or inches remaining on the page, top plates that spring open at the touch of a button (to facilitate inside cleaning jobs), settings for light and for heavy touch, half-spacing to correct letter omissions or spacing errors, knobs to adjust the carriage speed to your own typing speed, special paper supports for post cards, practically noiseless type bars, and improved push-button settings for margins and tabulator. Often you can get typewriters to match the decor of your room, in pastels ranging from turquoise-blue to pink. You can usually choose a type style and size to match your whim, too; one manufacturer lists six sizes and 25 different kinds of type faces available in his portables.

Reading of yesteryear’s tech gadgets is both amusing and charming — like this part, explaining the “development of electrics” in typewriters:

In an electric typewriter — which is plugged into a wall outlet like any home appliance — the type bars, carriage return, and operational parts are moved by electrical power rather than by “finger power.” The typist mere touches the keys lightly, and electricity does the rest, the action resulting in a uniformly typed page.

How quaint the need for explaining an electric typewriter seems to this internet addict!

Such information may be charmingly amusing, yes; but this article may also help collectors identify the age of vintage typewriters too. So feel free to click the image to read (or download) a larger scan.

Published by

Deanna

Deanna is the founder of Inherited Values, among other sites. She is also an antique dealer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *