Tuesday, March 9, 2010

On Typewriters and Other Inventions

I saw a typewriter last week.
An ancient dusty thing named "Underwood Noiseless."

Is that an oxymoron?

And for that matter, isn't noise
actually the secondary point of a typewriter?

The first of course is to write something.

The second, to make a good loud punching noise
so people really believe you're writing something.

For those of you wondering,
"What's a typewriter?"
let me just assure you that it was
an important part of history.

Washing machines

All big steps up from:
Horse-drawn carriages
Washboards at the river
Listening to shells

What are your favorite inventions?

I don't know whether the typewriter is my favorite invention.
I'm indebted to the person who discovered glasses.
And the folks who figured out light bulbs and coffeemakers.

But the typewriter is definitely among my favorites.

The clack.
The zub as it runs down to the next line.
The chitter and foop as you finish a page
and free your paper from the scroll.
The ripping, crunching and swearing as you realize you just labored
over a whole page and forgot a line in the middle.

Ah, bless the person who invented "delete" and whoever is responsible for the nearly noiseless laptop...


Lori Van Hoesen said...

My favorite invention: Post It Flags. :)

Faith, thank you for the beauuutiful hearts (so cleverly wrapped), and for hosting such a fun games. Keeping fingers crossed for your manuscript!

Take care,

ruthie said...

what a wonderful description of that good old fashoned thing (gulp, i can remember when that was all i used) thing the typewriter, i do love your use of words. My favourite invention, mmm, the telephone, though it is a love/hate relationship ;-)

Jan Morrison said...

hmmm....my favorite invention? The word. I really like the word. I can use it instead of the hammer when I'm mad. I can comfort my grandchildren with collections of them when they are sad. I can read them and speak them and sing them and whisper them and hold them burning in my mouth for later when I really need them. I can hide them for the future even the far far future. I can keep my words or spend them and there are always more of them. Yep, the word - the typewriter and the telephone would be useless without them.

Julia Kelly said...

My favorit invention is the "pay at the pump"- something that was not in existence for my first baby in the carseat era- I could never leave my kids alone in the car so always had to lug them in the gas station to pay- until that lovely device came along- I am still waiting for the "drive through" post office- why have they not thought of that yet!!

thanks again for the fun olympics!

Faith Pray said...

It is so fun to hear your favorite inventions!
I am a fan of each of your clever inventions.
Post-it flags! Phones! Absolutely the pay-at-the-pump!!
Plus drive-through coffee!
And Jan, whether Word is an invention or not, I agree, it is the beginning of all! Without words, humankind would not have been able to communicate or think about inventing a thing. So, yes, hooray for words!

Ironically, the day that I posted about inventions, my computer contracted a virus and I am on borrowed keys at present. Gotta love these modern inventions, huh!!??

Rayna M. Iyer said...

I learnt to type on a typewriter and had a love affair with it, till I discovered MSW. I still love the satisfaction that using a typewriter gives me, but what would I do without backslash, Ctrl-C/ Ctrl-V and Ctrl-z???

amywatson said...

I had a hard time picking just one, so I broke it down into categories.

At home: the dishwasher. And oh how I cry when I think of how I miss having one.

For me: hot water from a tap. Hot baths and showers. Enough said.

For the dog: the Chuck it. If you have a dog you know what this is. Its usually bright orange and you put your ball in it and wing it and the ball flies higher and farther than you could ever hope to throw it yourself. Thus, allowing you expend less energy while you're dog expends more. Genius.

At work: the intravenous - Don't worry, I'm qualified! Yes, it's very disturbing for some people to know but there is a very odd satisfaction in starting a good IV, especially when one is much needed!

Imada said...

I would like to say that my favorite invention is Food Processor/Blender. Makes my life in the kitchen so much easier and fun!!! Opened up the possibilities wide open for me.

Also, sewing machine is another miraculous invention...I am becoming a better friend with it.

Faith Pray said...

Amy, I feel your dishwasher pain. We came home from the hospital with twin preemies and a teeny kitchen with no dishwasher. A glorious invention, indeed! And hot water! Of course!
Imada, how right you are! The sewing machine is one of my best friends. And I have seen some of your kitchen masterpieces on facebook - no wonder you praise the food processor!


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