WOW #72

You young whipper-snapper snowflakes today….  This is how we did it in The Good Old Days!

I was recently reading an historical novel on my Kindle.  I came upon a passage where a female personal assistant (read secretary – at that time, a secretary was a lockable writing desk, and 50 years later, a typewriter was the person who ran the new-fangled machine) in 1850 NYC, produced a document for her lawyer boss on a


I’ve run into some strange and uncommon words, but this one stunned me.  The word was coined near the end of The Golden Age, when learned men all spoke some Latin, and a little Greek.  Fortunately, I could just tap the screen to investigate this strange word.  It took me to a Wikipedia article about a predecessor to the typewriter. pterotype – Google Search

File:Pterotype.jpg – Wikipedia

During further research, without even asking, first took me to ‘Stereotype,’ and later offered me ‘Proterotype,’ which is the first example of any new article. So, this is the proterotype of the pterotype.

Historically, technologically, we have come so far, so fast.  I can just imagine trying to pound out a letter, using this monster.  The lawyer might better have used the services of Bartleby the Scrivener.  I’ll keep my word-processing program and Spell-Check, thanx.

10 thoughts on “WOW #72

  1. 1jaded1 says:

    What a contraption.


  2. Rivergirl says:

    Ooh, the husband would love to have one of those.


  3. Jim Wheeler says:

    With the coming of computerized word processing, some predicted that the use of paper records would diminish. While the opposite happened overall, there has been a trend to electronic statements. I have a continuing worry that my savings and investments are all electronic and might vanish from cosmic rays or something. Of course, if a nuclear EMP were to wipe out all computer chips, money wouldn’t be worth much. So there is that.


    • Archon's Den says:

      When electronic records became more common, like you, people feared having them ‘just disappear,’ so they insisted on paper and ink backups. Security systems to prevent that have become more robust, and people’s concerns have become less, but the pattern is set. You’re right! Anything strong enough to erase them now would be too catastrophic to allow worry about mere money. See “Prepper.” 😯

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t want to go back either!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. veeds says:

    I came across an old heavy metal manual typewriter at a friend’s yard sale a few years ago–I think it’s a vintage Royal–and lugged it home for no good reason. I think I was embarrassed that I hadn’t bought anything. But I have to say, this typewriter is so heavy it practically took two of us to get it into my car trunk. Now it abides peacefully in my attack. But imagine if you were a student or business traveler and wanted to do some remote work with such a device!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Archon's Den says:

      My wife had me drive 75 miles – across Toronto – and back, and paid $20 for an IBM Selectric ‘golfball’ typewriter that almost works, because she used one when she worked in an office..

      Nostalgia is a wonderful thing. A repair shop may still exist 50 miles away. In April, it will have sat, inert, for three years. I have a post ready to publish, about the world’s largest paperweight. 😳

      Liked by 1 person

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