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Sepia Saturday - Typewriters And Office Clerks

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Joining Sepia Saturday's Typewriters : Writing : Words blog hop this week.


Typewriters have always been a part of our extended family. It has been a necessity in my mother's family to learn how to type - and to earn part-time from this skill. All my uncles, aunts and my mother learned to type correctly without glancing at the typewriter keys to check for mistakes and to type fast! (I still wonder how they did it) The typewriter was regarded in the family as an instrument that helped each and everyone of them through college while they worked part-time to support themselves.

It is understandable for the elders in our family to encourage me and my cousins to learn stenography and typing as a valuable skill.  And when I attended a typing class, I tried to type words the way my folks do and it sure worked well after much practice. Glad I didn't just get stuck on typing "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog." over and over. Thankfully, we now have the computer keyboard which makes typing words so quick and easy!

This week on Sepia Saturday, I can simply feature my mother when she was working as a clerk/secretary at the Philippine Consulate in Hamburg. She began working there in October 22,1963. The photo below was taken at their office around December that year. I wonder if that is a typewriter on the desk behind them.





Here was my mom and her friend, Charito Delarmente. I still remember her friend, from all her stories as I was growing up, that is why I know her complete name. Last we heard of Ms. Delarmente was in 1988, when she worked back here in the Philippines at the Department Of Foreign Affairs.


Above: Here's my mother's business card which she kept in a scrap book.


Above is an old photo of Alemar's where she used to work during college in the 60s




This old manual office desktop tool was manufactured by the Royal Typewriter Co., Inc. from New York, USA (1939-1959); same brand as the one used by Ernest Hemingway himself. This old Royal Quiet De Luxe is No. A-1344909 black metal manual typewriter with case and key; excellent cosmetic condition on the typewriter with only some scuff marks; works great as well although there is some evidence of oxidation on the interior metal parts; some oil needed to loosen up the keys; “t” key (uppercase and lowercase) consistently locks (need to manually release it); some oil needed to loosen up the typewriter key mechanism although it can currently type; no damages to the glass keys and the bell still works; ink on ribbon is still good (see close up pic of typewritten letters); lots of wear on the exterior of the wooden case; hinges still intact with minimal wear; no problem with the latch and case key; weighs 17 lbs.; typewriter is 10 ¼” x 11 ½” x 5 ½”; cartridge is 12 3/8” in length; case is 13” x 12 ½” x 6 ½”. 










10 comments :

Kristin said...

That does look like a typewriter on the table behind your mother. Do you ever type things on your old portable?

Postcardy said...

Typing is still a useful skill, even though we no longer do it on typewriters.

Little Nell said...

Welcome to Sepia Saturday and thank you for posting such interesting pictures.

La Nightingail said...

Like riding a bike or learning to swim - you never forget how to type on a QWERTY system keyboard whether it's on a typewriter, a computer, or an iPhone!

Alex Daw said...

I'm glad I learned to type the old fashioned way. I remember feeling that it was a very "typecast" skill - pun intended. Some women I knew refused to learn to type thinking that if they possessed that skill, it would hold them back career-wise. But with the advent of economic rationalism and the loss of assistants e.g. in academia and other industries, you have to type for yourself. Speed seems to be the thing these days so in the end....it stood me in good stead I think.

Deb Gould said...

Learning to type was one of the best things I ever did -- opened all sorts of doors for me -- editorial jobs in Boston, typesetting jobs for publishers and, eventuallly, my own graphic arts business. It's a good thing, that QWERTY system...

Mike Brubaker said...

A fine story and photos to connect to the theme. I like how you used the Courier font too. It deserves a special esteem for writers, even those of us writing in the internet age.

Brett Payne said...

Typewriters obviously have a special place in many of our memories. Thanks for sharing yours.

Joan said...

There was a time when young girls were told that if they could type then they had a marketable skill. My daughters rebelled and dinna learn to type. Now the eldest has taken typing classes to upgrade her computer skills, and the younger is the fastest 6-fingered typist I have ever seen. BTW loved the photos of your Mom. Thanks for an interesting post.

Momfever said...

Your mother looks lovely. Great pictures!