Thursday, September 24, 2015

Father of the typewriter and about efficiency

Browsing, came across an issue of the Remington Notes on the Internet Archive. In this number 7, volume 4 (1918) much is made of the Self Starter. Had only linked that with the Portables (#3, #5) really, not realized it was on their standards already then.

In this issue also an in-memoriam for the father of the typewriter, William K. Jenne. In the detailed article it is explained that he developed the inventors' model into a manufacturable machine and remained active in the Typewriter Works for 30 years until 1904.

From the article; 'It has become so indispensable to us that it is hard to realize that it has not always been.' and it remarks how recent an invention it was; 'Men today who are scarcely past middle life remember when it was an unknown and undreamed of.' (And now this century later, people of today scarcely remember that it was ubiquitous and indispensable...)

On the last two pages of the small booklet are efficiency tips. How to optimize every motion and not waste a single keystroke.

A section on the SelfStarter key explains that it really is useful when used backwards, to be pressed when returning the carriage. That starts to make sense for a correspondence machine. Also tab-stops work both ways of course, using the tabulator backwards can make sense.

Now who realized that? Not I. Like the article says: 'It is strange how many Remington typists, even today, have not yet learned this "backward setting".' Similarly it seems that the paper-guide of the Standard was a feature that sometimes not known to the user of the machine.

Another related item is a small paragraph that explains why the carriage return lever on a standard should always be on the right-hand side of the machine. (Wonder if the writer of that statement knew the team developing their new Portable machine...)

With thanks to the Archive (and the kind uploader of this scan!).

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