Typewriters of the rich and famous: John F. Kennedy

Young John F. Kennedy as a foreign correspondent for Hearst Newspapers, in 1945. Photo may be in Berlin. The book he appears to be consulting is his book about allied dithering about entering the war. Typewriter is an Underwood, common issue to reporters and standard equipment in many newsrooms of the time.

Michael Beschloss’s posting of historic photos on his Twitter feed turns up some real gems. Sometimes, other gems get posted in response. The photo above is a publicity photo of a young John Kennedy, perhaps in Berlin, in 1945 after the end of the war. He was hired as foreign correspondent by Hearst Newspapers, about the time his book, Why England Slept,was published.

Tip of the old scrub brush to @BeschlossDC and @keoni999 on Twitter.

2 Responses to Typewriters of the rich and famous: John F. Kennedy

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    Great stuff! Got links to photos of Wilson or Hayes?


  2. Kiwiwriter says:

    You should write about Woodrow Wilson’s typewriter, too. It could type in English and Greek.

    Rutherford B. Hayes was the first US President to have a typewriter in his office.

    My father wrote the definitive encyclopedia of American antique typewriters. It is an incredible American accomplishment — Christopher Latham Sholes of Milwaukee came up with the first one, the Sholes and Glidden, in 1870.

    It had the exact same keyboard that today’s iPhones have today. That’s pretty much the last remnant of the original typewriter, but the social, political, and economic revolution they created is still continuing.

    Typewriters put women in the executive front office; enabled news organizations to transmit, compose, and publish information in minutes; simplified commerce, bureaucracy, record-keeping, historical research, even police work.

    Whether it’s the budding novelist crafting “the novel that will live” or the journalist meeting deadline for the “article that will be read” or a Navy Personnelman writing a commendation or a police officer filling out an arrest form, it all comes from the typewriter. It deserves respect.


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