Day School: The Typewriter: Tales that Turn Back Time

Ref: C2225118

To mark the 150th anniversary of the invention of the Typewriter, we will trace its evolution from treadle-power to electric-power as it adapted to the seismic changes of the 20th century. But first we will examine the stimuli behind its creation and look at what it was that attracted early pioneers to the new writing machine. Initially a gender-free object, we will ask how and why it became feminised and democratised as we document its evolution toward the recognisably classic models of the golden years. Having saluted the survival of the QWERTY keyboard into the digital age, we will consider the renaissance of the typewriter in the 21st century.

Course aim

To situate the Typewriter within the broad context of social change and examine its role as both object and agent of revolution in the service industry.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • An interest in British Social History is all that is required.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Explain the links between the creation of a new writing machine and the economic pressures for more efficient forms of communication.
  • Situate the typewriter alongside other technological advances of the day such as Telegraphy and Telephony
  • Account for the way the typewriter appealed to early female pioneers.
  • Contextualise the typewriter within the broader social changes of the twentieth century
  • Recognise differing models and their periods

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation

Download full Course information sheet

Day School: The Typewriter: Tales that Turn Back Time


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
Visa Credit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Debit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Electron payments supported by RBS WorldPay Mastercard payments supported by RBS WorldPay Maestro payments supported by RBS WorldPay JCB payments supported by RBS WorldPay Solo payments supported by RBS WorldPay
RBS WorldPay Payments Processing