Royal typewriter next to a typewriter case with a sticker of the Apple logo on it

AWM Story of the Week

Every week, the AWM is excited to bring you stories written by our visitors in our Story of the Day exhibit, which features typewriters that visitors can interact with directly. Check back weekly for new stories, and visit the Museum to try out our typewriters and possibly be featured here! This week is all about memory and nostalgia.

High School in 1963

Miss Brett taught me typing in NY (Long Beacon HS) in 1963. She was like a person from the late 1800’s…very proper. One day the door to the classroom burst open, and a boy ran in, holding a transistor radio, and shouting “The president’s been shot!” “I don’t care who’s been shot, young man, radios are not allowed in this classroom!” “But the president’s been shot!!”

He left, she closed the door, and we all sat in confused silence.

-Mark Roffe


Nostalgia is probably my greatest vice. I am constantly longing to be reminded of simpler times and warmer memories. After smell, I think reading is one of the greatest stimulators of memory. Even seeing the cover of a beloved book can stir powerful memories of a time and place long gone. As I sit here at this typewriter in the midst of great writers and literature, I am filled with emotion. The simple act of using this now antiquated machine to share my thoughts is almost overwhelming. I am reminded of how much I used to love reading and prized myself on challenging myself to explore new worlds through the written word. This museum is a real gift in its ability to invoke nostalgia in even the most hardened hearts.

An Open Letter About Typewriters

Dear Reader,

So this may be my first time with a typewriter i begin to underSTAND THAT TYPING DOES NOT APPEAR AS IT REALLY IS. many of ti th the keys stick or i foget to hit the space bar. it also seems to be somewhat trouble-some that there is no backspace buttom. it is very hard to get used to as one who uses technology –from the modern era– very often. I begin to get used to the rules of the typewriter.

i can understand why historic writers like hemingway would love to use such a piece of technology.

3 thoughts on “AWM Story of the Week

  1. Bindy Bitterman says:

    On my very first day at AWM, before I’d become a member, the typewriter exhibit enthralled me. I think I wrote a poem (maybe a limerick?) as I often do, and left it with you. You should resurrect it and print it if you’re still looking for commentary on the machines! (PS: There IS a backspace on typewriters, isn’t there????? No delete key, but definitely a backspace!)

    • American Writers Museum says:

      We’ll keep an eye out for it Bindy! We always love seeing your writing here in the office, so hopefully it will turn up.
      As for a backspace key, some typewriters have them and some don’t. Models that included a backspace key, you would use an “X” to cross out the letter, or you would use white-out, though there are clearly some mixed feelings on how well it works.

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