Letters from Wisconsin

Kay Christensen Roberts and her sister Jane grew up in Cumberland, Wisconsin, a rural town with a population of slightly over 2,000, then and now. Growing up in Cumberland in the 1950s, Kay became a devotee of the public library and especially of the town librarian, Katherine Robinson, who may have been her namesake. Katherine the librarian and Kay’s mother Aleda Christensen were good friends. The Christensens lived fairly near to Katherine’s mother and, as Kay recalls, “when I was very little I would toddle up to Engesether’s, where I think I spent as much time as…

3 Comments

How the MTST Changed My Life

Before computers, there were word processors, and before that, electric typewriters. These machines did not come with apps or software, and the functionality was limited, but they opened up whole new worlds of efficiency beyond handwriting or typing on a manual typewriter. In the late 60s, early 70s, I worked as a secretary, which required typing, filing, and simple accounting skills. While typing for a living was not a glamorous career, the ability to type provided jobs for many women, both young and old, at a time when women’s career options were limited. The company I…

3 Comments
Typewriter Musings
In store display: Papel New York, Brooklyn

Typewriter Musings

Manson Whitlock, often described as America’s oldest typewriter repairman, passed away in Bethany, Connecticut in August 2013 at the age of 96.  He began repairing typewriters in 1930 in his father’s New Haven bookstore and continued in this profession until a few months before his death.  His obituary in the Washington Post notes several of his prominent clients, including authors William Manchester, Robert Penn Warren, and Archibald MacLeish. For decades, Manson Whitlock repaired typewriters for students and professors from nearby Yale University. The New York Times Magazine noted that he "fixed more than 300,000 of them…

5 Comments
Close Menu