For a twenty-first birthday many people may ask for a car or a designer bag or perhaps a holiday somewhere tropical, but not me. For my twenty-first birthday all I wanted was a typewriter. Yes, I am serious. And yes, I did receive one. I was beyond happy! I also got a bottle of wine because hey, I was twenty-one.
Although I was always used to writing, there was something about the hard clicks of the keys below my fingers that felt like the closest things to magic. As the rough paper begins to tab over and you hear that distinct ‘ding!’, you really can’t beat it. It’s charming, inspiring, and it makes you write different; you can’t backspace this time. It doesn’t surprise me that some of the greatest authors we’ve known throughout history have used them. Even though technology can do anything we need now, these legends made works that shaped literature right on their rickety little typewriters. To honor them and Typewriter Day here are only a few of the fantastic authors who used them.
1. Agatha Christie
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She could no longer use a typewriter after breaking her wrist, but she did have her first big start on her sister’s Empire typewriter. Although her trademark brand became Remington.
2. Ernest Hemingway
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Hemingway used various models and brands of typewriters, however it was said his favorite was the Royal Quiet Deluxe.
3. Orson Welles
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He wrote the famous Citizen Kane on his manual typewriter by Underwood. His name and address had been painted on the case.
4. Jack London
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London’s typewriter had a whole separate keyboard with specific characters from his time in the war. He’s stated he owes much of his success to his typewriter.
5. Mark Twain
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Supposedly Twain wrote he first draft of Tom Sawyer (some believe it was Life on the Mississippi instead) on a typewriter. He got his very first typewriter in 1874.
6. Maya Angelou
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The lovely Angelou wrote a lot of her works via an electric Adler typewriter which was later auction for $5,000 after her death.
7. Helen Keller
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In her autobiography, Keller stated she used a Hammond typewriter with an assortment of special characters from that of subjects like math to languages like Greek.
8. Tennessee Williams
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He wrote his countless and successful works on several different typewriters from Remingtons to Smith-Coronas.