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Period typewriter

Morning Olympian article, January 10, 1911

Session Laws of 1911, showing change

Introduction of the Typewriter in the Legislature

In 1911, a technological revolution transformed the record keeping functions of the Legislature. Careful “copper plate” handwritten journal entries were replaced by “machine writing” with the employment of that new invention, the typewriter. The use of machines was seen as more economical on many fronts, the not least being the possibility of employing female workers at a lower pay scale to replace male clerks.

The Morning Olympian lamented the change in an article of January 10 of that year.

The Session Laws of 1911 are a record of the change: on one page is the last handwritten entry; the following page is typewritten. The end of an era and the opening of a new one. Image of Session Laws courtesy of Washington State Archives.

The photograph of the typewriter shows a model of that period.