Writing, Hearing: An Old Typewriter

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Listener Jim Apfelbaum of Austin, Texas, takes us back in time as he praises the sounds of his typewriter as part of our series "SoundClips."


Now another SoundClip. Listeners from around the country are sharing interesting sounds with us. Today's comes from a man who writes an old-fashioned way.

(Soundbite of typewriter)

Mr. JIM APFELBAUM (WRITER): This is Jim Apfelbaum. I'm a writer in Austin, Texas, and I have an implement that I use in my office every day. It's both a computer, a self-contained printer. It's portable, it never eats your work and requires neither batteries nor electricity to operate. But the best feature of a typewriter, though, has got to be the sound.

(Soundbite of typewriter)

Mr. APFELBAUM: The typewriter is full of sounds. You're putting the paper in, and that has a certain kind of - it's almost like turning the key. You wind the paper in and line it up, and that has a cool sound to it, I think, as well. And then the tapping, of course. The keys going against it. The bell is at the end of the line of type.

(Soundbite of typewriter)

Mr. APFELBAUM: You have a lever that you hit to get back and space it and line it up to go to the next space. The typewriter has a lot of activity to it. I think it conveys enterprise and creativity. You feel you're getting somewhere with a typewriter, I think.

(Soundbite of typewriter)

BLOCK: That's Jim Apfelbaum of Austin, Texas, demonstrating a writing instrument you may remember. It's called a typewriter. If there's a startling or comforting or baffling sound that you can tell us about, please do. You can go to npr.org and search for SoundClips.

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