There were still places to buy new electric typewriters in those days, but that used one thrilled me when I got my hands and, particularly, my fingers, on it. I even learned to touch type on it, but typing skills didn't help sell my masterpieces. I wrote a short novel about cats but all it got was a form rejection slip when it came back like a boomerang in it's SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope).
There were still typewriter repair shops around then, and I recall going to one to buy a new ribbon, as the old one was only producing very faded letters. I knew then that success would be mine, as naturally it was unprofessional to submit manuscripts that looked so poor and were hard to read.
But somehow I still managed to collect an entire walls worth of rejection slips. Eventually I went back to composing my literary works in longhand until finally one day receiving a brand new electric typewriter from Sears. It even had a spellchecker! And no more white-out, it had a correction ribbon too! What amazing technology! I would soon be sitting back in my mansion collecting royalties and buying new cars by the gross. I would apply for liberated status and drive around town in my new Camaro, buying cigarettes and Playboy magazines (for some reason I equated adulthood with smokes and cheesecake).
My fantasy failed to materialize, even with stories and novels I wrote that were inspired by Ray Bradbury, Watership Down, and The Lord of the Rings making the publisher slush pile rounds.
I don't know what happened to those typewriters, guess they eventually were thrown out or given to Goodwill, but I wish I had the old mechanical now. It had a lot of youthful enthusiasm for the written word attached to its sticky keys.
The QWERTY keyboard setup is pretty familiar to us today, but before it became the standard for English-language keyboards there were plenty of other layouts that never quite caught on. Old typewriters often feature bizarre mechanisms and uncomfortable-looking keyboard configurations, but their divinely unique layouts are what makes them so fun to look at today.