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IBM Electronic Composer, 1970s

IBM Electronic Composer, 1970s


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Science Photo Library

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IBM Electronic Composer, 1970s

IBM Electronic Composer. This model of typewriter is an example of an IBM Selectric typewriter, all of which used typeballs (one see at centre left). This was a ball that rotated to select the right letter, followed by striking the paper. These balls could be changed to select different fonts and characters, making it ideal for use in the printing industry. The IBM Selectric typewriter was first introduced in 1961, but this model, the Electronic Composer, was introduced in 1975. It was typewriters like this that made desktop publishing possible

Science Photo Library features Science and Medical images including photos and illustrations

Media ID 6317363

© VICTOR DE SCHWANBERG/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

1900s 1960s 1970s Change Electric Electronic Flexibility Keys Machine Power Cable Printing Studio Wire Font Fonts Printed Matter Printing Industry Type Writer Typeface


EDITORS COMMENTS
This print showcases the iconic IBM Electronic Composer, a revolutionary model of typewriter from the 1970s. At its core lies an IBM Selectric typewriter, distinguished by its utilization of typeballs. Positioned prominently in the center left of the image, this ball rotates to meticulously select each letter before striking it onto paper. What sets this machine apart is its ability to interchange these balls, allowing for a diverse range of fonts and characters—a true game-changer for the printing industry. Introduced in 1961, the IBM Selectric typewriter quickly gained popularity. However, it was not until 1975 that this specific model—the Electronic Composer—made its debut. With machines like these at their disposal, professionals were able to embark on desktop publishing endeavors with newfound ease and flexibility. The photograph beautifully captures both the technological prowess and aesthetic appeal of this vintage equipment. Placed against a single-colored backdrop within a studio setting, it exudes an air of simplicity while emphasizing key elements such as power cables and typefaces. As we delve into this mesmerizing snapshot from Science Photo Library's collection, we are transported back to an era where electronic advancements revolutionized traditional methods of printing and typesetting. It serves as a reminder that even seemingly mundane objects can hold immense historical significance when viewed through the lens of innovation and progress.

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