IBM ball head typewriter

All electric typewriter had a very soft touch, they were all easy to operate. That was the entire reason they were electric.

But that created a new problem: a really fast typist could jam keys together, which cost time to fix (a few seconds, but if it happened repeatedly it was frustrating) and sometimes messed up the document you were typing.

What made the IBM Selectrics special was that no matter how fast you typed, getting jammed keys was impossible because there was just that ball head, no keys at all.

One thing that surprised me was the force it generated. The chassis on those things was heavy iron, and if you put your hand on the desk of someone really typing fast on one of these you could feel the concussions through the wood.

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