The time before...

in Silver Bloggers2 years ago

So your computer crashes or there's a power failure and you have a deadline in the office?
Absolute disaster not so!

This would not have posed a problem in the sixties or early seventies as most of our vintage #silverbloggers know only too well.
I must admit though that when I started working in the early seventies, we had electric typewriters, so this old Corona would have been discarded in the back store room somewhere.

Photo by Darya Kraplak on Unsplash

I worked as a draftswoman in a land surveying office and all our plans were hand drawn; can anyone who uses CAD today ever imagine having to work like that?

We needed equipment like scales, slide rules, a compass, a protractor, flexi curves, drafting pens filled with various colour inks as well as nibs in various thicknesses.
The only way one could zoom into something was using magnifying glasses; remember those?
This is some of hubby's collection as he worked as a civil engineer and kept quite a number of hand drafting equipment which he needed in his career back in the old days!
Our plans were drawn on a clear film and if you made a mistake, we had special blades to scratch out the errors; then use an eraser to clean the film up and redraw that section.


Some of our plans had to be drawn on blue linen drafting paper – yes a fabric that was covered with a waxy film and had to be used for certain maps.

blue linen paper.jpg

The off-cuts were washed in hot soapy water to become a beautiful linen fabric, can imagine how this newbie learner draftswoman felt one day when I spilt a hot cup of tea ALL OVER MY ALMOST COMPLETED PLAN!
Yep, there were many tears but I had to start from scratch!

Those were the days when the best advice I was given, was by my dear old boss Mr Watt...
He had a great sense of humour and if anyone asked him...
What is your name Sir?, Mr Watt would answer...
Watt, is my name! with a naughty glint in his eyes of course!

This was a Facit Calculator used from the fifities right through to the early seventies and certainly was a great advancement at the time! It had to be wound up instead of pressing an enter button!

Photo by b Hannes Grobe

CAD - Computer Aided Drafting

We were simply aghast when CAD was first introduced, as we each had our own style and that would all be lost now.
Of course as soon as we saw how much easier our jobs would be, and I remembered that hot cup of tea that destroyed an almost complete plan, CAD became really exciting.

Can you imagine getting any office work done without your desk computer, or laptop for that matter and how would you feel if everything had to be done by hand again?

I know what my answer to that would be!

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I wrote my novel on a manual typewriter. I like the tactile-ness of writing that way. It helps me focus. Also, no checking Facebook or whatever on the same device. When I was done, I edited the paper, which is also easier to focus editing that way and not on a screen, and then I used an easel as my paper holder to type it all into Word on the computer. Printed it out, and edited it again.

I'm 42, it's just how my brain works. I don't do computer/phone calendars, either.

Your photo is so classic, I love it! I've heard that many authors preferred the old manual typewriters.
It's so true that one gets sidetracked by a quick visit to Facebook, YouTube and whichever other social media sites we visit!
Thank you for an awesome response.
Silver-Blond Lizzie 🤗

I still start many of what I call my "thinking" posts in my "journal", in pencil. For contract pieces, I also start with pencil and paper. I'm 58 and it took me ages to get beyond points and to mind maps. I will start some things with a blank screen but not many. That said, there are times that it just flows out of my brain into my fingers and through the keyboard...that is very rare but are some of my best pieces. Ever.

I can do it with blog posts, but usually those are a one off, topic wise, whereas a book requires going back to the same well over and over? I don't know if that's the difference in focus, but I think so. :)

I suspect you're right. I would and do prefer editing reports and long, long writing in hard copy. That said, over the years I've learned to focus on the screen...

I had to do drawing and a little cartography as part of my degree. I remember those pens, ink and scraping out mistakes! My long project includes some of those hand drawn diagrams and I typed it on my mother's 1960s "portable" typewriter. before liquid tippex...

All our assignments were handwritten...

I have a love-hate relationship with all this tech. Especially when it crashes. I lurve it when it works!

I'm the same, loooove my reliable desktop but get really frustrated with the old laptop which has to come on holiday with us in case I have to do a quote; it is very lazy and that lagging drives me nutty!
How things have changed in the office!

I only have a laptop now - with a separate monitor and keyboard. Better than any desktop I ever had... 😀

My laptop is well matured, time to be replaced with a younger model😅

One thing I just remembered - having to count the words in a line so that your typing could be justified. And now, we just press a button. I've often told my kids about all the things we needed to do in the old days

How technology changed things! We had to count words as well especially for our plan headings etc, sounds so funny now, I'd forgotten about that😅

It is funny to remember these things

It really is, just shows how the world has changed😉

I'm loving all the memories - well done for starting this channel.

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This is a very wonderful one coming from you,I can't stop reading over and over again

Glad you enjoyed this trip down memory lane, thanks for stopping by!

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What a wonderful post Lizelle - brought many smiles to my face - the good old days or not so good old days