• 1959 College Typewriting textbook


    I found this in College Typewriting, Complete Course, 6th edition, by Lessenberry and Wanous. It's dated 1959 and is just filled to overflowing with stupefying typewriter drills. I did note, however, that the Miss Harriet L. Brock of this particular exercise, had to give quite a bit of information in her application letter and data sheet. While I was busy being perfectly horrified by that data sheet, I almost missed the most important information entirely.

    It seems the 5' 4", 110-pound, unmarried Miss Brock had three years of an Economics degree from Columbia behind her before asking for this secretarial position. Columbia. University.

    By my calculation, Miss Brock would be 72 years-old right now. I wonder which way she'd vote in the upcoming election . . .

    12 comments → 1959 College Typewriting textbook

    1. How do you type a wolf whistle?

    2. I'm sure that bit about Columbia U. was included there to discourage the young ladies taking the course from getting their hopes up.

    3. Hot cha cha! Time for a dip in the typing pool...

      Er, I mean, anybody else notice that she's typing on an Underwood? Or am I the saddest of the bunch?

    4. Yeah. You can tell by the curved sides. You know, on the typewriter.

      (You didn't think I meant...I mean, how much in the way of "curves" could a 110# lady have? The Underwood weighs more than that.)

    5. [suggestive "basket-shift" joke here]

    6. With the exception of Olivander, you're all shameless.

      And I believe it IS an Underwood! The whole first chapter of this textbook explains how to set tabs on every different brand of typewriter, complete with drawings.

      I'm guessing our Miss Brock did very well for herself, despite that Columbia business.

    7. We all have our obstacles to overcome. She likely was able to fulfill her dream to set aside that education and take up the noble task of typing up crap for The Man.

      God Bless America.

      (*goes back to typing up crap for The Man*)

    8. It is surely an Underwood, as I have that same model sitting here at my right elbow. The shape of the notch for the carriage, the return lever, and (as Duffy mentioned) the subtle curve on the side of the typewriter are all Underwood.

      I do hope that the copy stand isn't in the way of the carriage return lever, or she's going to have to keep stooping over to retrieve her originals.

      Hmmm... wait a moment while I picture that...

      [still shameless]

    9. Typing up crap for The Man. I should rename this blog.

      I want one of those Underwoods, even if only for an evening. I'm going to call my friend over at Acme and see if he'll let me test-drive one.

      I'll be sure to secure my typing stand well.

    10. It feels like a steam engine, and sounds a lot like one, too -- very chugga-chugga-chugga when you get going. Except for a recalcitrant bell and the unpleasant surprise of suddenly running out of ribbon, it's a pleasure to use.

    11. She'd vote for Hillary, of course! It's a damn shame they did away with secretaries by the way. My mom raised me by herself on a secretary's salary. It's just another of those jobs that have disappeared.

    12. My grandmother and mother were both secretaries, so I have a lot of respect for them and the times in which they worked.

      The secretarial titles are still there, but the nature of the job changed.

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