From the lost drawer: 1957 Italian typing manual

Et Cetera

The amount of interesting stuff I’ve inherited from my late grandparents is astounding, and I do wish I had much more free time (and a better, faster, professional scanner) to digitise it. I found this typing manual from 1957 half-hidden beneath old maps and model train catalogues; I almost missed it because its cover is missing.

The manual’s original title is Corso graduato di Dattilografia Razionale [which should translate to Rational Typing Graded Guide] by Luigia Ballerini Ratti and published by G.B. Petrini in Turin, 1957. About 90% of the book’s contents is made up of typing exercises, of course, but there’s an introductory section featuring a few interesting pictures of the most popular typing instruments of the time — most worth scanning. Apologies if some of the pictures aren’t perfectly aligned: the book is rather fragile due to the missing cover and spine, so I had to be delicate to avoid breaking it completely.


The caption says: Typewriter for rendering Japanese characters.



The caption says: Typewriter used for transcribing with ordinary characters and for typing shorthand.



Olivetti Lexikon electric typewriter






Remington portable typewriter



The new Underwood Standard De Luxe



Underwood Sundstrand Adding Machine



The famous Olivetti Divisumma electric calculator



Olivetti teleprinter/teletypewriter



Remington Rand Adding Machine — model 93



Remington Rand Foremost Bookkeeping Machine




This is a diagram that explains how to place your hands on the keyboard to correctly type using all ten fingers.

Tastiera universale = Universal keyboard
Mano sinistra = Left hand
Mano destra = Right hand
Mignolo = Little finger
Anulare = Annular (ring finger)
Medio = Middle finger
Indice = Index finger
Maiuscole = Caps key
Barra spaziatrice = Spacebar
Pollice = Thumb


A Dropbox folder containing the high-resolution scans of these images is available at this link. Enjoy.

Other posts in the “From the lost drawer” series


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