Reader Typewriter Electronic

To Orwell Today,

Hi Jackie,

I was reading the above website and saw that you own some electronic typewriters. I have recently decided to try and track down the type of electronic typewriters circa 1994 1996, because my typing skills were much more fluid, faster and I made hardly any mistakes, compared to on a computer where we are all reliant on the spelling feature. I type all the time but my fingering is not as sharp.

I know it may be a bit cheeky but could I know the make and models of your electronic typewriters? I have no idea how I would try and buy the ones I trained on but I hope I could one day.

I have already made an enquiry to my local college, in the hope that some info may be obtained, I do remember that they resembled something like this Swintec -- I'm just not sure of the make or models they used, but they were all white, and obviously daisywheel.

Any help you can give is appreciated.


Greetings Lorraine,

I know what you mean about typing faster and more accurately on an electronic typewriter compared to a computer keyboard. I feel the same way about typing on an electric. But since 1982 -- when computers first hit the office -- I've never gone back to using a REAL typewriter (except once a year on Orwell's birthday when I type on HIS typewriter):

Granddad Typewriter

Orwell's typewriter (actually my grandfather's but the same make and model, ie a portable manual Remington circa 1939) is the only typewriter I presently own -- I never kept any of the portable electrics I used to have (don't know where they went but they never made the move).

Here's a recent article you'll no doubt relate to: In Praise of Typing, the Clattering Kind, New York Times, May 30, 2012

And here's an article on the basic history of typewriters (written by Panasonic) and how to purchase one:

Before the widespread use of the personal computer, letters and reports were typed up on first manual typewriters, and then electric, and finally electronic typewriters. Secretarial pools as well as private secretaries typed data on these machines daily... The electric typewriter was the first evolution from the manual typewriter of the 1950s. In those days typists had to pound down upon the keys with their fingers. The electrically powered typewriter made a soft touch easy, requiring less effort, which lead to faster typing and work completion. The latest electric typewriters included LCD screens.

Electronic typewriters were the forerunners to the modern day computer. What differentiated these models from previous electric models was the capacity to store words in a small database. Electronic Typewriters had a daisy wheel, 86,000 word English dictionary, memory, spell check, portable case, one line correction, quick erase feature, and LCD display. These models are still in use today while they remain quick and efficient for personal or small office needs. Interested potential buyers can purchase a new electronic typewriter, a used typewriter, or a refurbished typewriter upon the Internet....

I hope this info helps you track down an electronic typewriter -- it seems they're readily available and not very expensive.

As I type this it's Saturday, just a couple days before Orwell's 109th birthday on Monday, June 25th, 2012, and I'll be typing on Orwell's typewriter again -- the fourth year of the birthday-typing ritual.

All the best,
Jackie Jura



To Orwell Today,

Hi Jackie,

I thought I had read that you had some electronic typewriters as well?


Hi again Lorraine,

I think there's a bit of confusion on your part. In that MEETING ORWELL THRU BOOKS & TYPING article I said that over the years -- from the 60s through to the 80s when computers became the norm -- I had various portable ELECTRIC typewriters, ie Smith-Corona/Olympia/Olivetti come to mind. But I never had a portable ELECTRONIC typewriter (went from electric to computer keyboard at work and at home). I travelled alot and moved around alot and would get rid of stuff I no longer used, and that's why to this day I don't have any of the ELECTRIC typewriters I once owned (or any of my earlier computers and their keyboards).

The only reason I have the old manual typewriter -- the 1939 portable Remington -- is that I inherited it from my grandfather when he died in 1986 and I didn't want to part with it for sentimental reasons. I didn't realize, until a few years ago upon seeing a photo of Orwell's typewriter, that it was the same make and model he typed "1984" on -- another one of those amazing coincidences that in reality are godcidences.

All the best,
Jackie Jura


Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~