Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I had finished all my work for the day and I started walking around my classroom looking at all the typewriters on shelves. My eye was drawn to the lowly shift key. So much depends on the shift. A new sentence cannot begin without it. Passions are expressed with shift. The greatest questions of our lives are echoed only with the shift key. 

A shift in perception.

Graveyard shift.

Leftist shift.

Paradigm shift.

A comfortable shift.

Clearly a shift to the right.


  1. Neat. You could use the images as a test to see who can identify the typewriter that is attached to the shift key.

  2. Especially in German, the Shift Key, or Umschalttaste, is indispensable.

  3. Best are those shift keys whose legend, or insert, is that of a rebuilding company, or dealer- they're often very different and colorful. Which reminds me that I did see a ring on e-Bay made from a shift key whose insert said "Harry A. Smith Typewriter Company." Nauseating.

    1. I think that those advertising inserts are very interesting. It seems to me if you wanted to slap some sort of ad on a typewriter that would be the least offensive way to do it. As for making a ring with any typewriter key...you are absolutely right.

  4. Don't forget the freedom to shift however you choose. A very American sentiment this election season...

  5. I love the comparison of various shift keys. You are absolutely right. Next to the space bar, the shift key is one of the most important keys on a typewriter. Then again, they are all important, aren't they?

    Thanks for this!