Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Smith Corona


I learned to type on our turquoise-coloured Smith Corona (similar to the one pictured above). It came with a matching case cover and could be stored away like a fancy little suitcase. A family staple, every member of our clan made use of its elegant powers. It carried us through the 80s until we ventured into the world of word processing—a mere hop, skip and a jump away from personal computers.

A stepping stone into future technologies and a family friend, it was a thing of beauty.


  1. Anonymous11/20/2013

    Oh my life... we had one almost exactly like that. The colour was different, it had a dark grey case with a white handle. Inside the main body was a very light almost white grey.

    My Mum used to sit and paintakingly type out letters of importance to the bank or whatever for my Dad.

    I used to use it to type out very important things like... My Birthday List or My Christmas List!

    Dad used it for his stamp collecting... he'd want to get particular franks on the stamps, on particular stamps and things - and he liked the envelope to have a typed name and addess on it.

    Over the years it became simply a play thing for my kids and my siblings kids. It still sat under Mum's old bureau when she died. It went in the house clearance but it was broken by too much kiddy playing - the ink tape mechanism didn't move it and some of the hammers no longer responded no matter how hard you hit the keys.

    Thanks - brought back so many memories

    1. The memory of it brings such a pang doesn't it? I can't tell you how much I loved reading your memories of using a smith corona. I love the bit about how your dad liked to type out envelopes (my parents were the same) and how your mum sat typing letters of importance. Oh the memories I have of my mum sat at the typewriter typing her documents. Beautiful times.

  2. I had a kiddy one, but did my first real typing, a report on the Amazon, on my sister's, which looked just like this one! (My dad insisted she learn to type because "them sec'a'taries makes good money.") Later I got one of my own and typed a million stories. I miss the way it sounded and felt to type on those keys, although when the ribbon was getting dry my fingers hurt from having to tap them so hard! Computer keyboards don't give the same satisfied feeling.

    1. Thank you for sharing your beautiful memories. I love your dad's "sec'a'taries" comment. :) Did you save any of your stories that you typed out? Do you remember what some of them were about? The way it sounded and felt and looked: it was a delight for the senses!

  3. We never had one of those in the family or any typewriter or any thing with lots of buttons. For some reason my family are button phobic. Well with the exception of buttons on clothing. ;) But still at least I had a taste of using one of those at my neighbors house. It seems most of time if I wanted to learn how to use any thing modern or to try something new at the time was usually neighbor related. :| Oh well.
    But I did at least have a portable record player that was in a suit case like thing and spent many childhood hours and days listening to those little story records and sometimes listening to a few of those large Disney soundtrack records on it too. It was enjoyable and sometimes comforting. But on occasion it was pretty boring.

    I haven't had a real word possessing moment till I was in college. :s

    1. I remember those portable record players! Those were lots of fun. I used to listen to disney tracks on that too. :) It's great that your neighbours provided an outlet for you to try modern technologies/gadgets etc. It shows just how easy it was for you to adapt and learn on the fly. That's amazing!

      I resisted word processing at first but then I got the hang of it. Computers too! :)

  4. That is very cool... takes me back. I think I have typed for so long that now my handwriting has suffered greatly.


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