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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Clackers: 1923

Clackers: 1923

Washington, D.C., circa 1923. "Eastern High School typewriting class." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

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Looks Familiar.

The typewriters look closely related to the ones I learned to type on in the 1940s: NOW IS THE TIME FOR ALL GOOD MEN TO COME TO THE AID OF THEIR COUNTRY. We were timed on that sentence to make a grade. You better be fast.

Girls' Subject

I can remember thinking that typing class was a "girls'" subject and I would skip typing class in high school. That was in 1968 and little did I know that computers would be in every household someday. Hence, I did not learn to type until I was 35 and just last year I learnt to type using two thumbs on a mobile device.

In praise of typing

Learning how to type was one of the most useful things I accomplished in high school. All of that seemingly pointless "FFF space/JJJ space" monotony paid off in spades for me as the years have rolled by and I'd highly recommend it to everybody - especially these days when so many of us live in front of our computers.


All of the visible typewriters are Remington Standard No. 10s. The serial numbers on the blackboard indicate that the most recent was made in 1918. Though not seen, the highest Underwood serial number would have to be a #5 made in 1919. The highest serial number Royal is a No. 10 made in 1918. A lot of old-time typewriter repairmen said that the Royal No. 10 was the best typewriter ever made, and, well, there are no broken Royals reported on the blackboard, are there?

Hey - I have one of those!

I have an old Remington that my grandfather bought about this time to take to college. Found it in my grandmother's attic in middle school and took it home, cleaned it up and actually used it for my own homework. I like the comments on the blackboard about the various machines that have problems. Kinda surprising, actually. For the way these things were built, I'm surprised to see problems like "main spring broken" back when they were new!


I love the notes to the typewriter repairman on the blackboard.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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