Remembering Typing Class: The Class That Actually Mattered in the Long Run

We all learn certain skills in school and as the technology progresses some were left out, but one remains still valuable and that is the typing skill.

Modern education dramatically differs to the one a century ago; nowadays the children are so proficient in different fields of science that the teachers are only “guide on the side”. Internet has offered them various information and educative materials like websites, images, online books, audio and video, and webinars.

Today the typing skill for most children is a secondary thing as almost everyone knows, but in the past the typing skill was taught at schools and considered to be a valuable skill.

The history of typewriting

For centuries people wrote manually their letters, books, science projects and ran states with written letters. The knowledge of typewriting did not exist, but in the 1700s the first typing device was designed and patented. Yet, it needed a whole century for the typewriter to be manufactured. Namely, the first manufactured typing devices were launched in the 1870s. This invention changed the world for many people like the female gender opening them new job posts where they were appreciated for their work. This device opened new opportunities for the blind people and the ones with other physical or mental disabilities allowing them a new way of communication and getting the needed education so that they can have jobs.

The universal “look” of the typewriter was of great help for the women making them more present in offices. Thanks to this invention they could work in cleaner workplaces with better salary and earning the respect from the employers. By the end of the 19th century, the use of typewriter was highly appreciated and considered to be reliable tool for writing and communication.

The Remington company created the first typewriter with the help of Sholes, Glidden, and Soule and dedicated it to the female population installing even a foot pedal (like a sewing machine) to control carriage returns.

Darren Wershler, the author of The Iron Whim: A Fragmented History of Typewriting, also offered a detailed explanation of the use of the early Remington typewriters that were marketed for the use by the women. These typewriters in appearance were similar to the sewing machines and even had some flower decorations.

The well-known typewriter manufacturer, Remington even offered typing courses so that the status of the typewriter is established. In the beginning they were simple, but over time, they became pretty universal.

The introduction of typing courses in American high schools was in the 20th century because many experts believed that they can offer great benefits for the students.

According to a 1934 study, the first and second graders could learn with ease typing, which helped them against developing bad habits. Older students who started to learn the typing skills had more difficulties in developing the skill.

In another research was proven that the typing skill helped students to improve their spelling skills and reading capacity. The reason for that was that the students enjoyed writing more when they were doing it on a typewriter.

In the fifties and the sixties of the last century, students visited typewriting courses which showed that aside the gained skill the students also improved their English language skills.

The greatest attendance of the typing courses was by the female gender as it was mandatory in a secretary job, which at the time was considered to be only a female job. However, when the typing classes became mandatory in schools the attendance percentage between boys and girls was leveled out.

Teachers realized the importance of the typing skill, and were dedicated in making their students proficient in it. They even invented methods to make them better in this skill by imposing typing with blindfolds on. Some were told to place a towel or cloth over the top of their hands or a pseudo latex overlay to prevent them from seeing the keys while typing.

Nowadays this skill is staple technique in the education process and in the work of offices. Due to the modern technology children at very young age learn this skill very quickly. This makes the typing skill still a crucial and valued expertise in the modern world.