Typewriters

An active member of our WordPress group, The Lonely Author, shared a post regarding a typewriter and how a story surged forth after the writer found a typewriter. Typewriters fascinate me. Maybe because I grew up using them.

As late as the 1960s telephone service was not yet reliable enough to provide the communications necessary to keep our railroads running safely. Instead the railroads relied on American Morse code, a system developed a century earlier. Station agents relied on mechanical typewriter during that era – mills they were called because they made upper case letters only.

I once read an account of an agent taking a message off the wire. His earphones were offset, covering only one ear. He was using his mill to copy a message coming over the wire while conducting a verbal conversation with a friend. Others heard the code and assumed he was keeping up. But they were mistaken. After the wire fell silent he continued typing for an additional ten seconds.

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