Recent news reports indicate that sales of vinyl records may surpass CDs this year, as a growing number of consumers believe that the old, analog players provide a richer sound experience than the newer electronic devices. This story makes us wonder if there is any other old-fashioned contraption that could become cool again? What about manual typewriters? Can the public once again be smitten with the typewritten word?
Well, back when Qwerty McCurdy of Palo Verde, CA, first invented the typewriter in the 19th century, it was a purely practical device. As the years went on, its rack-and-pinion mechanics proved to be less efficient in getting work done than the digital keypads and touchscreens that eventually replaced it. However, unlike the new replacements, with the right amount of digital dexterity, the percussive keystrokes of the old machines could produce a uniquely pleasing toe-tapping rhythm. And no one could do this better than Ron Mingo, the typist with the nicest tactile style. Mr. Mingo gave up a career in professional baseball in the early 1970s to enter the more glamorous world of data transcription. With the title of "World's Fastest Typist", he appeared on several variety shows of the era producing some of history's most unique musical numbers. Below is his performance on the The Flip Wilson Show, accompanied by a troupe of tap-dancing showgirls. You just can't get this amount of entertainment by hunting-and-pecking on a laptop computer.