Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Suddenly it's 1892 and typewriters are on the rise

A friend recently gave me a well-worn, yellowing copy of Cosmopolitan Magazine. Not THAT Cosmo. This one was published in the winter of 1892.

The Nineteenth Century Cosmopolitan must have been cutting edge for 1892. It offers an essay titled "Democracy and City Government" and a fantasy piece set in 1950 about the earth's being on a collision course with a comet. The futuristic tale is written by Camille Flammarion, an astronomer and well-know French writer. Flammarion seems to have been the Carl Sagan of his day.

But what interested me most were the typewriter ads. (I'm a bit of a typewriter nut. If you are interested in typewriters, you might visit my site,

As you will see, the new technology of 1892 (typewriters) was competing with the old (fountain pens). And the ad copy for the rising technology, manual calculating machines, were making snide remarks about "type-writers," which forced their users to do all kinds of stressful thinking.

I'll let the ads speak for themselves. . . .

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