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30th October 2023
A visit to the beautiful Carlo Scarpa-designed 1950s Olivetti showroom in Venice with its neat displays of classic typewriters has inspired this week's Post. As the photo shows, the typewriter, like loose skirts, bicycles and rooms of one's own, had an enormous impact on women's emancipation and employment. The Twelve-Pound Look (1914), a one-act play by JM Barrie turns on a £12 typewriter, the price of freedom for an oppressed wife. Asked how she earned the money, she replies, "It took me nearly six months; but I earned it fairly. [She presses her hand on the typewriter as lovingly as many a woman has pressed a rose.] I learned this. I hired it and taught myself. I got some work through a friend, and with my first twelve pounds I paid for my machine. Then I considered that I was free to go, and I went."
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