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.
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.”)
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.
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.
3 thoughts on “An Odd Typewriter”
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.