This is the John Hay High School Typewriting Team of Cleveland, Ohio, in 1937. Seated on the far left in the middle row is Stella Pajunas (later Mrs Garnand), a then 16-year-old. Nine years after this school yearbook photo was taken, in 1946, Stella became the fastest person - to this day - to use a typewriter. She achieved an average of 216 words a minute on an IBM electric typewriter.I can't help myself, I've got to keep posting on typewriters. It's what gives me the most satisfaction in life. And I can't resist a challenge. Bill MacLaine asked in a comment on my post the other day which had a 1950 film of the Remingtons 1 and 2 in action: "Nice to see the evolution from slow to fast typing. Only one improvement [to the film] would have been if an IBM Selectric was in the clip. I wonder what the top speed was from machine to machine."
I'm sure there's probably someone in Japan who will query this, but my summary would be:
manual standard typewriter
and Mary E.Orr
Late August 1881, McGurrin, 97 words a minute, Walsh & Ford Law Firm, Grand Rapids, Michigan. See Koichi Yasuoka's post here.
July 25, 1888, McGurrin, 98.11 average words a minute, Palace Hotel Building, Cincinnati, in winning his contest against Louis Taub (Caligraph No 2).
August 13, 1888, Orr, 98.7 average words a minute, Convocation Hall, Toronto, Canada, in winning the international championship from McGurrin.
September 4, 1888, McGurrin, 115 average words a minute, First Methodist Church Building, Chicago. (Also reported as 109 words; McGurrin also wrote 125 words in one minute blindfolded).
electric standard typewriter
and Stella Pajunas
June 20, 1941, Hamma, 149 average words a minute, Goldbatt's Department Store Auditorium, Chicago, in winning the international championship. She beat into second place Albert Tangora, who typed at an average of 142 words a minute, presumably on a manual typewriter (a Royal?). Hamma was reported to have reached a peak speed of 228 words a minute.
June 19, 1946, Pajunas, 216 average words a minute (average 1080 key strokes a minute), Goldbatt's Department Store Auditorium, Chicago, in winning the international championship (the last one ever held).
Hamma in 1936
(*The 1909 world champion was Rose Fritz, who was not a male. The 1910-11 world champion was Otis Blaisdell. He was the only male world champion from 1906-1913.)
With the speed typing movie Populaire in mind, here is what a French speed typing champion from the period (1958-61) really looked like (and note the machine she is using - it's an Underwood!):
Taken at the Paris Fair in 1961