The Keys to Success

A 40-page pocket guide to etiquette aimed at young women was published by Olympia Typewriters in 1963. Prepared by Ingenue magazine editors, the booklet advises that one’s popularity and success in dating hinges upon typewriting skill and etiquette.

“The keys to success are right at your fingertips when you have a typewriter at hand. Yes, those forty-four glistening keys are steps that can lead you into a big, new exciting world! They can help you dazzle the boy who lives down the block or make a friend whose home is ten thousand miles away. They can help you move upwards in your class at school and place you on the first rung of the career ladder!”

Not to be forgotten, there’s also advice for the guys, acknowledging the stereotype that typing is for girls: “Young men, please, don’t get the idea that we think typewriters are only for the girls. Nothing could be further from the truth! Boys can and should be as comfortable at the keys as girls. In fact, nowadays they must be.”

When it comes to writing a letter to one’s sweetheart, the booklet advises the male suitor, “Don’t overpower her with too clinical a description of your emotions. It will frighten and embarrass her.”

This excerpt is from The Typewriter: a Graphic History of the Beloved Machine. Ready to ship now!