Friday, 3 July 2015

Someone found my typewriter

Back in January I received one of those strange, uncalled-for emails that arrive out of the blue with no warning and no introduction. It was an email from someone I had never heard from and it was about something that I had not thought about for some 35 years. Someone had found my first typewriter, it transpired, in fact the machine that I learned to type on back in the 70s.

"I think I may have stumbled across something that belongs to you," he wrote. "I bought a Lemaire Deluxe 800T from the Anglicare bookstore and upon doing an office rearrange have found your name inscribed on the back." Sure enough along with the front view photo that you can see here on this blogpost there was a photo of the metal label on the back of the typewriter with my name inscribed on it. I probably used the point of a mathematical instrument like a compass - we used such things in those days before the advent of the PC - to carve my name in the soft metal of the label.

I did answer that email promptly on the same day I received the email. In my response I talked about some of the history of the machine, which was bought in the mid-70s as far as I remember, but that's hardly accurate, it was such a long time ago. "I remember I think in 5th form (Year 11 nowadays) when I was sick for an extended period of time, I used to use an open book to learn how to type," I wrote to my correspondent. "I just copied the book onto page after page of typescript." And it's true. That's how I learned how to type, just by copying page after page from novels onto pieces of A4 paper using this typewriter.

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