If you know me, you know about my fondness for IBM Selectric typewriters. I personally own several--everything from the Selectric I to the Selectric III.
Why do I think the Selectric is the best electric typewriter? Let me give you a few reasons. Feel free to add some more of your own.
IBM designed the Selectric to run 8 hours per day, every day. It was designed and made for business use. After all, there are thousands still in use today. Small, inexpensive, personal electrics won't hold up to that kind of use and certainly don't last as long. Many of the Selectrics manufactured in the 1960s (and 70s and 80s) are still being used today. Can you say that of any other business machine you have owned?
Made to be repaired easily by trained technicians. The Selectric is a fully mechanical typewriter powered by a simple motor. There are no computer chips or system boards to fail without any warning. Although they are made up of thousands of parts most repairs could be done right in the office.
That Golf Ball! I'm 44 years old and I learned to type on a Selectric in 1988. I'm still hypnotized by the speed and sound a Selectric makes when it's running. There's nothing else like it.
My dad worked on the IBM Assembly line back in the day in their Lexington plant so there's that connection that I have. IBM employed a lot of people in Kentucky and many were working on the typewriter assembly line. Unfortunately, there are no typewriters being made in the United States today. What a shame!
I'm not alone in my love for the Selectric typewriter. According to IBM's website, "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"