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Icons of Progress

The Selectric Typewriter


Throughout the decades since its invention, writers of all stripes—from novelists and screenwriters to comedians and poets—have declared their devotion to the workhorse Selectric. The ubiquitous typewriter has starred on the little screen and the silver screen, and been celebrated widely in literature, fashion and in other arenas of popular culture.

The machine of masters—and dreamers

Renowned writers who have depended on the Selectric include Hunter S. Thompson, John Irving, Isaac Asimov, David Mamet, Katherine Anne Porter, James Merrill, Ralph Ellison, Philip K. Dick and David Sedaris, among others. Aspiring teenage music journalist William Miller—a character based on real-life writer-director Cameron Crowe—writes his brilliant piece on a Selectric in Crowe’s autobiographical Academy Award-winning movie Almost Famous (2000).