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Thursday, 8 November 2012

All the President's Typists

To mark today's US Presidential election and the glowing tribute returned President Barack Obama paid to his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, let's look at some typewriting ladies with links to previous US presidents:
Norah Gridley, seated front, was a cousin of Mary Ann Todd Lincoln, wife of President Abraham Lincoln. She is seen here in front of the Lincoln Log Cabin, near Lerna, Illinois, with Miss Mary Coleman using a Hammond typewriter.
Here in front of the Lincoln Cabin is Miss Coleman, Mrs Gridley, Mr Stille using the Hammond typewriter's case to write on, the architect brothers the Megars, and young Hall, a great-grandson of Abe's father Thomas  Lincoln, looking through the window of the east room of the cabin. These photographs were taken on August 9, 1891, by W.J.Root of the Root Studio,  Kimball Hall, 243 Wabash Avenue, Chicago.
Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin D.Roosevelt
Margaret Truman, daughter of President Harry S.Truman
Jackie Kennedy, wife of President John F.Kennedy
POSTSCRIPT: Miguel asked about the typewriter Mrs Kennedy is using and I went looking for an answer. I didn't find exactly the same machine (with the attachment on the left side), but these ads were so appealing (if sexist) I thought I'd add them in anyway ...


Miguel Ángel Chávez Silva said...

I'm curious; what kind of machine is Mrs. Kennedy typing on? It looks like a Royal of sorts; would it be an electric machine?

Robert Messenger said...

Hi Miguel. Yes, it is a Royal electric. I couldn't find the same machine, but I added some ads from a 1957 model. Cheers.

Robert Messenger said...

Actually, it is the same model, but without the attachment on the left side.

Ryan Adney said...

The attachments on the left (and also unseen right) are crabon ribbons. You could get it as an extra option for almost all of Royal's desktop machines of the era. Finding one of thise electrics in colors would be a real find. Green would be the color of my jealousy.

Robert Messenger said...

Thanks, Ryan. I should have guessed that. It reminded me of the early days of word processors, when you plugged optional extras (eg for graphics) on to the back or sides. They looked just like this. Talking of much-desired things, I am about to post on the Royal HH.