I’m going a slightly different route with this week’s “Found in the LOC.” Rather than feature an artist or particular aesthetic or theme, as I did with old bike adverts and Gordon Parks and animals acting human, this week’s entry is organized an object, which, as the headline suggests, is a typewriter.
The Library of Congress’ online archive has just over 400 images of the computer’s forbearer. Some are udoandard fair: secretaries typing away, an author musing over the keys, but below are some of the more unique images in the collection: doctors examining typewriters being sent off to war, the machine being delivered on camelback and, the most bizarre by far, a woman using a typewriter in the shower, being watched by other women, one of whom appears almost to be coaching here. It’s very strange. Don’t worry, though, there are a few famous faces in the mix… Well, famous to some, at least. Not, you know, like Taylor Swift-famous.
Anyway, check them all out, after the break.
- This file, from 1915-1920, is called “First Typewriter,” but that’s misleading: similar devices have been around since the 1500s.
2. Some kind of typing device, 1909:
3. Lincoln cousin Mrs. Norah Gridley working on a book outside Thomas Lincoln’s old cabin, 1891:
4. 20th Century Fox donating their typewriters to the war cause in 1942.
5. And Susan Hayward represented for Paramount Pictures‘ donations, 1942. with typewriters being sent to Europe and Asia:
6. Getting checked out for war duty, 1942:
7. Is she… taking its temperature?
8. Gee, they really put them through the paces.
9. This typewriter was the only thing to survive a Japanese bombing at sea, 1944. Mightier than the sword! Or, rather, a bomb.
10. The requisite “chimpanzee at a typewriter” image, 1906.
11. Seriously, what is happening here? Anyway, this was 1922.
12. American typewriter salesman in the Pakistan province of Balochistan, 1909:
13. “Video typewriter,” 1964
14. I couldn’t resist including this image of an Olivetti typewriter factory in Hartford, CT, 1962.
15. Prolific and unparalleled screenwriter and playwright Paddy Chayefsky — Marty, Network, The Hospital — in 1958.
16. Entertainer and writer Gypsy Rose Lee leaning on a typewriter in 1956, probably working on her 1957 memoir, which became Gypsy.
17. 1970-1980 ad for Olivetti typewriters.
18. An est. 1900 image of a woman named Mary Horse chewing gum and “typing.” This was no doubt composed, and she looks pretty unsure about the whole thing…