Typing the Old-School Way
By Jeff Salter
Not sure why this came to mind, but I was recently thinking about typing speeds. Remember the typing tests with those odd paragraphs you’d have to type as fast as you could with the fewest errors possible?
I remember scoring 90 wpm or higher in my twenties (on an ELECTRIC TW) and was still scoring in the mid 80s wpm when I was in my thirties. By the last few times I tested (probably 18 years ago or so) I was still in the mid 70s wpm.
Nowadays with my arthritic fingers and hands, I’d hate to imagine what my speed is.
**** But here’s the actual point:
Back in the old days, people were accomplishing fantastic speeds using those old upright MANUAL TWs. The kind I trained on in high school in 1964.
For any youngsters reading this — there’s a lot of difference between the light touch you need to activate a PC or laptop keyboard … and the full inch of depression you needed to pound those keys to thrust the lead letters through some 4-5 inches of an arc to slap the paper against the platen.
The first example (above) is the kind I trained on. There were a few “new” TWs in my typing class, though I rarely got to use them. They were similar to the Royal (shown below).
The newer models shortened the length of the arc those letters had to travel. Consequently, it took less thrust on the keys to propel those keys. Eventually they also tilted the curved bank of letters so that they were closer to the platen.
****What kind of TW did you learn on?
****What was your fastest official speed in wpm?
[JLS # 551