An Odd Typewriter

Yesterday I was at one of my favorite non-bookstore stores in Salt Lake City, the vintage shop Unhinged, when I came across a nifty green typewriter.

Where is the 1?

Upon taking a closer look, I discovered that, though it was completely intact, it didn’t have a 1. I have never seen a qwerty keyboard without all ten numerals on it before. (Incidentally, “qwerty” is one of 23 words with a q and no u that are legal in Scrabble, as is its plural, “qwertys.”)

This post is really just an excuse to use the word “qwerty.”

I suppose that the makers of the typewriter thought they were being efficient by saving space in their exclusion of a 1, since the sans serif “I” seems to match the font of the other numbers.

The “I” does double duty.

However, this would really mess up one’s typing technique. Instead of hitting the 1 in its usual place, one must hit an uppercase “I” instead. I bet that this model resulted in an abnormally high rate of typing errors, frustrating secretaries and students everywhere. But because I could just appreciate the typewriter as an object instead of having to use it, discovering its oddity made my night.

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3 Comments

Filed under Miscellaneous

3 responses to “An Odd Typewriter

  1. I recently bought a 1950s typewriter. And it doesn’t have a 1 key either. It’s got a 1/2 key, but no 1. I have no idea why, but it’s very strange indeed.

    • How fascinating! Maybe this was the norm in typewriter design for a while, even though it doesn’t seem to make functional sense. The typewriter I wrote about also had a 1/2 key as well as a 1/4 key.

  2. Pingback: An Odd Typewriter: Mystery Solved! | Daniel Shank Cruz: Reader, Writer, Thinker

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