If you know someone who knows Nottingham, get them to take you to the random little house clearance, bric a brac shops on the outskirts. I went to one of these on a cold December afternoon, and promptly nearly bankrupted myself on gorgeous nostalgic books, keys and household bits and pieces. I was prevented from buying another typewriter only by the good sense of my companion, who pointed out that it physically wouldn’t fit in my ridiculously impractical car, and anyway I already owned two.
Pfft. As if a girl can ever have too many typewriters. Anyway, what I did manage to bring home was this:
The Typist’s Desk Book, by Drury and Pearce, published by Pitman, and containing such gems as a fold-out London postal code map, several typing exercises and newspaper cuttings, and some typed and handwritten snippets from a long-ago reader.
Clues to its age are numerous but varied – a quick Amazon search for the title yields 1936 and 1953 as possible publication dates. A newspaper clipping inside is dated March 8, 1953. An advertisement for the fourth edition of the Typewriting Dictionary is printed at the back, which was published in 1942, and the advert imploring readers to “insist on the new Oliver 20” would indicate the earlier date, as the model 20 typewriter was produced between 1935 and 1950.
So this little book is certainly 60, and probably closer to 80 years old. And when, on perusing its pages, I found this…
…I decided to turn it into a series of blog posts. Because it feels like it was meant to be!
Keep an eye on the blog and our Twitter feed for the next one…