Total Pageviews

Tuesday 7 June 2022

65 Years Using Manual Portable Typewriters

Taken today, marking 65 years of using manual portable typewriters.
Taken in Fremantle in 1982, my 25th year of using manual portable typewriters.
I remember well the first time I used a manual portable typewriter. It was on this day in 1957, 65 years ago. The typewriter was an Underwood Universal, which was in my father's tailoring establishment at 37 Mawhera Quay in Greymouth, New Zealand. Leading toward the end of the financial year, the family (that is, my siblings and I) went to the store on a chilly Friday evening, back then the end of the working week, to help our father with his annual stocktaking. I, being nine-years-old and the youngest of the five of us, wasn't of much use in this activity, so I was allowed to sit at our father's desk, listen to the Bakelite radio and use the little Underwood typewriter, while my brother and sisters helped check stocks of suits, shirts and ties. The radio was tuned to station 3YZ, and at 7pm on came the "West Coast Hit Parade", a weekly half-hour Top 10 programme hosted by the genial John Pike. How well I recall that rocketing up to No 1 was Elvis Presley's All Shook Up, which pretty much summed up how I felt about seeing one of my own compositions coming up before my eyes in type, for the very first time. There haven't been very many days in the ensuing 65 years that I haven't used a typewriter.


Joe V said...

Thank you Robert for all you have done for the typewriter community. Here’s wishing you many more years of typing!

David Brechbiel said...

65 Years Robert! Thank you so much for all of the time and energy you have given to the typosphere. Just today, I found your serial number location image within the May 15, 2012 entry. Oz Typewriter is one of my favorites. Carry On!

David Lawrence said...

Awwww! What a lovely, sweet story!

Congratulation! Bravo!

Well done, that man!

Ixzed23 said...


Congratulations in celebrating 65 years of typewriting!

I continue to discover all your blog posts from the last decade and the mountain of information you have shared.

I'll repeat here my wish to be able to read your sports articles that have won prizes. I have not been able to find them online.

Daniel Burgoyne in Canada

Robert Messenger said...

Thank you Joe, David, David and Daniel.
Daniel, I'm guessing it will be a very long time before these articles are digitised and go online. The process of doing this in Australia and New Zealand is slow. The National Library of Australia is gradulaly updating its Trove collection of digitised print newspaper pages, but apart from, say, The Canberra Times, which reaches into the 1980s, it has a very long way to go. The problem, I gather, is government funding for the process. The articles you are looking for appeared in West Australian Newspapers.

Ixzed23 said...

Thanks Robert.

I guess you did not save a paper copy of the three articles either or else you would have said so.


Daniel Burgoyne

Robert Messenger said...

Hi Daniel. I know I have one of the four, a grey-ish photocopy which I may scan in one of these days. I'm afraid I didn't keep clippings of the other three, so I'll have to wait until the NLA's Trove gets around to digitising WAN articles from the late 70s-early 80s.