Sunday, April 9, 2023

Modern machine in the museum

Behind glass in a cabinet in a museum, a modern machine. With plastic housing, ergo modern. This is an IBM Selectric from ~1965 - actually to be fair it is already relatively old and not something commonly seen anymore. Fitting for a museum of the modern era :)

This electric typewriter is an exhibit in the Museum of the 20th Century. This museum has various displays showing how over the 20th century our houses, shops and workplace-technology changed.

E.g. an orange fever-dream of the seventies. (That wallpaper really 'comes at you'.)

Or a more toned-down late thirties interior with some typical Dutch elements of the period.

The Selectric in its showcase is part of their information technology room, showing typewriters, copiers and calculator development from 1900 up to the computers of the 1990s.

It includes several typewriters behind glass.

Behind glass - a realisation that these machines are actually starting to be quite old. Many of these can still be found in thrift-stores or online marketplaces and can be experienced 'hands-on', but they are well on their way to become museum-pieces.

A century-old typewriter can be maintained and kept going indefinitely, however some of the more modern information technology will be a much harder challenge to maintain in working condition.

Walking round the exhibition does really work as intended; a memory-jogging experience with so many items that fit a period of the last century. And they really do have an immense amount of 20th century objects!:

The museum was a joy to visit (and strengthened the allegation that typewriter collecting is a bit like having a little private museum :-)

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