Editor’s Note: As I pen these words I’m visiting with my mom and little bro’ in the UK. When I mentioned our “How it was” series to my mom, she leapt into action with gusto and abandon to pen a couple of articles, of which this is the first…
In September 1948, I presented myself with great excitement to the Typing Pool Supervisor, eager to start on my first day as a qualified Shorthand Typist with this large Engineering Company (one of the largest in Europe).
One of the large Rolling Mill installation jobs had gone disastrously wrong and the Company was being threatened with legal action. The Typing Pool was on Red Alert and was required to take all the files relating to this job and produce twelve copies of every document.
Copying machines had not been invented at this time, so each typist was given a bundle of documents and had to type them with 12 copies on the old Imperial typewriters. The most one could put in at one time was an original with 5 copies interspersed with carbon paper, which meant that each document had to be typed twice. And, of course, if one made a mistake, one had to erase it on each copy and then re-type the correct character(s) through the lot – it was all very frustrating and time-consuming, but it certainly encouraged you to become a good typist.
As you can imagine, tempers were very frayed by the time the whole thing was finished.
Old Imperial typewriter of the kind my mom used to useClick Here
to see other articles in this "How it was..."
series...Editor's Note: It would be great if you took the time to write down short stories of your own. I can help in the copy editing department, so you don’t need to worry about being “word perfect”. All you have to do is to email your offering to me at max@CliveMaxfield.com with
“How it was” in the subject line.I can post your article as “anonymous” if you wish. On the other hand, what would be really cool would be if you wanted to add a few words about yourself – and maybe even provide a couple of
“Then and Now” pictures showing yourself as a young sprog
("Then") and as the hero you've grown into
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