Writer's Almanac informs me that today is the anniversary of the invention of the typewriter, patented this day in 1868 by Christopher Latham Sholes of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Typewriters have been in my world since I was born; I have one now, an electric that doesn't work very well and emerges from its home under my printer table only when I need to complete some kind of form, an activity much less frequent now that I'm (a) no longer teaching and (b) able to submit so much online.
Grandmother wrote to all the family once a week--but she wrote only one letter. She rotated it so that each of her correspondents would get the original copy one week; others would get a carbon copy. The next week, we would get the carbon; someone else, the original. She would then write--in pen--some personal message on the family letter. Grandma was good about that, the personal messages.
In high school, I took typing class--as did just about all of us. It was a Life Skill. And it is also the class from which I've retained the most. I still remember those timed drills we would do--typing fixed passages to see how quickly and how perfectly we could type them. The sound of keys struck, bells ringing, carriage returns ... returning. You could tell by the sound of those carriage returns who was "winning" the timed portion. I was very competitive then and did not like hearing someone else's bell bong before mine, another carriage return banging before mine.
Later, paper companies produced a product they called "erasable bond"--paper whose words you could easily remove with a plain old pencil eraser. But ... the paper had a greasy feel, and, of course, it was easy to smudge if you didn't handle it carefully and allow the words to dry. The final "improvement" was white-out, which made pages with errors look as if a bird had used them for toilet-training. Some of my grad school profs at KSU outlawed the erasable paper: They didn't like the "feel" of it as they were grading.