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Darklldo

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I had a Mettoy or similar name toy typewriter as a boy. In 1959 I progressed to Underwoods and Imperials as a Movement Control Clerk in the Royal Engineers. In 1962 I was bashing out letters in a tent in Aden! Then it was on to electric typewriters including a golfball typesetter's machine on which I could vary the leading (gap between lines) and pitch (gap between letters). Then came a machine with its built in eraser tape. Now I'm on a computer keyboard, and less careful knowing I can always delete any errors. Progress?
No, not progress at all is it. We get lazy over time now we don't have to type with great accuracy. Sad really. I did shorthand as well and lost that as dictaphones appeared. The golf ball was an interesting invention but it didn't really take off did it or was it another casualty of the computer?
 

Hayman

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No, not progress at all is it. We get lazy over time now we don't have to type with great accuracy. Sad really. I did shorthand as well and lost that as dictaphones appeared. The golf ball was an interesting invention but it didn't really take off did it or was it another casualty of the computer?
The only advantage of the golfball seems to have been the ability to change fonts and point size quickly. My wife learned Pitman's shorthand as soon as she left school, and was still using it occasionally in her 60s for making notes. In my army typing test I was allowed three mistakes. I recall typing Daily Orders on duplicator 'skins', where the keys - without the ribbon in then way - cut into the wax sheet so that the thick duplicating ink oozed through to make the copies to go to the messes, guard rooms, notice boards, etc. And any mistake needed a dob of the red nail varnish-like lacquer to fill the cut before retyping with the correct letter. You could get high on sniffing it!
 

Darklldo

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The only advantage of the golfball seems to have been the ability to change fonts and point size quickly. My wife learned Pitman's shorthand as soon as she left school, and was still using it occasionally in her 60s for making notes. In my army typing test I was allowed three mistakes. I recall typing Daily Orders on duplicator 'skins', where the keys - without the ribbon in then way - cut into the wax sheet so that the thick duplicating ink oozed through to make the copies to go to the messes, guard rooms, notice boards, etc. And any mistake needed a dob of the red nail varnish-like lacquer to fill the cut before retyping with the correct letter. You could get high on sniffing it!
You bring back memories Hayman, I used to make the wax copies of TV scripts before they were handed out to actors of various television series. Keeping the keys free of wax was one of the things that was most important. Yes, it was Pitman's shorthand I learned too. top marks to your wife for keeping the skill. :)
 

Hayman

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You bring back memories Hayman, I used to make the wax copies of TV scripts before they were handed out to actors of various television series. Keeping the keys free of wax was one of the things that was most important. Yes, it was Pitman's shorthand I learned too. top marks to your wife for keeping the skill. :)
Yes, you're right about the wax coming off the stencils and building up on the keys. We had what might be called very stiff toothbrushes dipped in acetone cleaning fluid to scrub the gunge off . And, yes, we did sniff it! See the attached photo – found on Ebay, for £10. The brand name is not an instruction.....

Was there any other generally used shorthand system than Pitman's? At least it wasn't condemned for being popular, as Amazon and Google are today.

Where are you in Tassie? I was travelling through and working in Oz in 1977-1978 - then single - and visited the Apple Isle. I recall seeing Slim Dusty performing to a packed hall one evening. I was there again in 2010, then with my wife.

Would you call Port Arthur 'derelict'?
 

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Suziqed

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Yes, you're right about the wax coming off the stencils and building up on the keys. We had what might be called very stiff toothbrushes dipped in acetone cleaning fluid to scrub the gunge off . And, yes, we did sniff it! See the attached photo – found on Ebay, for £10. The brand name is not an instruction.....

Was there any other generally used shorthand system than Pitman's? At least it wasn't condemned for being popular, as Amazon and Google are today.

Where are you in Tassie? I was travelling through and working in Oz in 1977-1978 - then single - and visited the Apple Isle. I recall seeing Slim Dusty performing to a packed hall one evening. I was there again in 2010, then with my wife.

Would you call Port Arthur 'derelict'?
Re other shorthand systems - I learnt Gregg Shorthand in the early 1970s at the American Secretarial College in Lisbon, Portugal. It’s the preferred version in the USA, having being invented there in the late 1800s. It’s a very flowing script and I still use it occasionally.
Although originally from the UK, I live in Ballarat, Australia now, and also spent 30 years in Tasmania. Port Arthur has been well and truly tidied up since the massacre there in 1997. I don’t think it would be described as derelict; rather, it’s considered an historic site and the buildings are all well cared for.
 

Hayman

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Re other shorthand systems - I learnt Gregg Shorthand in the early 1970s at the American Secretarial College in Lisbon, Portugal. It’s the preferred version in the USA, having being invented there in the late 1800s. It’s a very flowing script and I still use it occasionally.
Although originally from the UK, I live in Ballarat, Australia now, and also spent 30 years in Tasmania. Port Arthur has been well and truly tidied up since the massacre there in 1997. I don’t think it would be described as derelict; rather, it’s considered an historic site and the buildings are all well cared for.
Thanks – I’d not heard of Gregg shorthand. I’ve just been looking it up – very different from Pitman’s.

Yes – between my first visit in 1977 and again in 2010, Port Arthur had gone through a lot of ‘tidying up’. It had lost a lot of the feel it had for me the first time I was there.

My memory of Ballarat was snow! I got a lift with a chap who was driving his VW Beetle from Melbourne to Perth. Rain turned to snow by the time we reached Ballarat, and the chap had never seen snow before. We began throwing snowballs at each other!
 

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