An IBM Typewriter

I found this machine sitting in the corner of the library.

Wow! A classic from 1984. Only slightly damaged with the panel showing the position of the platen (For you younger people, the platen is the thing the paper rolls around. Oh, yeah. The paper in a typewriter is fed in individually and rolls around the platen while the user types their information.) being missing. I have no idea if it works.

This is an IBM Personal Wheelwriter. A Model 3, the earliest one. You can still buy these, either new or refurbished for $300-400. This followed the Selectric with its “flying ball” (which was more fun to watch but very noisy) and was the final IBM typewriter before they sold the line to Lexmark at around Model 2000.

It even has a ribbon! That is the big “U”-shaped thing. The wheel is just visible next to the ribbon. It rotates to the desired character (These come in most languages and some technical “dialects”) then a hammer whacks it, printing the character on the paper. There are also correction ribbons. 🙂

My first wife figured out how to “read” what was typed on one when her boss wrote a letter she thought was about her. So she retrieved the ribbon cartridge from the trash and laboriously wrote each character out in reverse order! And the letter WAS about her! Lol. Her coworkers were impressed she could do that!