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Finding Inspiration in the Past: A Writer’s Journey with an Old Smith-Corona Typewriter

In 1972, I was living in Pennsylvania when the Susquehanna River overflowed due to Hurricane Agnes. The river, which runs from upstate New York to Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, flooded many cities along its path. I had never been to Wilkes-Barre before and joined a cleanup crew there. We worked long hours and slept in the high school gym.

During the cleanup process, I discovered an old Smith-Corona typewriter buried in debris that had been underwater for three days. I took it home with me after a month of working in Wilkes-Barre, cleaned it, and restored it to working condition. Over the years, I used the typewriter regularly alongside a computer for writing.

One day, while using the typewriter, I realized that it allowed me to focus solely on my writing without distractions like email and social media. The physical act of writing on a typewriter also provided a different experience compared to using a computer. The sound of the keys striking the paper and watching the letters leave their imprint became a part of my writing process for me.

As I loaded a fresh sheet of paper into the typewriter, I wondered about the history of typewriters and how they have influenced writers over time. Famous writers such as Herman Mankiewicz have used them to create their works, adding another layer of appreciation for this machine.

In conclusion, owning an old Smith-Corona typewriter has been an interesting experience for me as a writer. It has taught me that sometimes going back to basics can provide new insights into my craft while also reminding me of how far we have come as technology advances.

I believe that having both a computer and a typewriter is essential for any writer who wants to stay productive while also maintaining creativity and focus on their work. While computers offer convenience and efficiency in terms of word processing tasks such as formatting and editing text quickly, nothing beats the tactile experience of typing on paper with real keys.

As someone who appreciates vintage technology’s charm and benefits, owning an old Smith-Corona typewriter has been an incredible journey so far!

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