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I had a moment of nostalgia today. I found out that one of the classiest writing tools, the IBM Selectric typewriter, turns 50 this month. Well… it was classy back in the day, at least.

The US Postal Service is even issuing a commemorative stamp in honor of the occasion.

I remember the first time I typed on a Selectric.  Boy did my fingers fly! It was sheer heaven after using a clunky manual typewriter. The innovative design eliminated jammed keys and the unique type head could be swapped for a change in fonts.  That leaping ball was quite a spectacular invention! Later models added correction ribbons and word processing capabilities.  Super sweet features for those of us stuck in the typing pool.

Another fun fact – the Selectric played a role in early computer design. Engineers rigged the typewriters to function as the first generation of computer keyboards. Who knew?

Happy birthday, Selectric!

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