Obsolete term: touch typing

Peter Richardson prichard at LINFIELD.EDU
Thu Dec 5 22:05:50 UTC 2002

> I have to admit that i'd *never* made any connection between the verb 'type'
> and the noun 'type' referred to in the last line there. Now that i see it,
> it makes perfect sense, though.

Among the stuff in my basement (for those back East: cellar) is a 1913
Chandler & Price letterpress, ca. 1800 lbs. of it, with around 60 trays
full of type of all sizes and linoleum cuts and boxwood engravings used to
print all sorts of ephemera. To the course I mentioned yesterday (the
Jerry Clower story) I take a type tray (also known as a case), usually
with something as big as 18 point type, and ask each student to take a
letter e out of the lower part of the tray (easy to find because it's in
the biggest compartment)  and press it hard against the meat of the thumb,
then release it and peer at the image.  Goodness: lots of e all over the
place. After I explain the process of hand-setting a page for the press,
they put the letters back into the e compartment. Then I take out a
capital E from its little compartment, which is in the top part of the

And so they learn what "upper case" and "lower case" is. And it beats a
tattoo parlor.


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