From Typewriters to Computers

by Lorraine D. Cork

These days, almost everyone in the world has got an electronic computer, or at least knows how to use a computer. But did you know that before computers were invented, people used to type their work with a mechanical device called a TYPEWRITER?

In fact, the very first typing devices were invented in the 1700s…a very long time ago! And in the many years to follow, all different kinds of typing machines were developed: some with keyboards and some without. But, one thing is certain, they definitely did not look at all like our keyboards and typing devices today!



I spent my early years bashing away on such a thing called a TYPEWRITER. I can distinctly remember watching an episode of the American television series “The Waltons” (in the 1970s) and feeling extremely envious of John-Boy Walton and his wonderful typewriter. It wasn’t long before my parents bought me a similar version and my love affair with writing and typing began!



But, oh did those keys hurt when you bashed them. And you ‘had’ to bash them or they wouldn’t type. And I don’t know how many sheets of paper I wasted…because if you made a mistake, you couldn’t press an UNDO button and start all over again. You could only screw up your paper and throw it in the bin (of course, when correction fluid was invented, that solved everything!)


So, what do I prefer: typewriters or computers? Well, I suppose it is a bit like asking: “Do you prefer paper books or e-books?”  On the one hand I feel excited and privileged to have experienced and touched such a precious thing as a typewriter but on the other hand computers certainly DO cut your work in half…and in half again!


Pictures: Lorraine D. Cork aged 10 and her early poems and plays produced on her computer.