Typing Early Innovations
Types in a 1920`s typewriter
No one person can be said to have invented the typewriter. As with the light
bulb, automobile, telephone, and telegraph, a number of people contributed
insights and inventions that eventually resulted in commercially successful instruments.
In 1714 Henry Mill obtained a patent in Britain for a machine that from the
patent sounds similar to a typewriter, but nothing further is known. Other
early developers of writing machines include Pellegrino Turri (1808), who also
invented carbon paper. Many of these earliest machines, including Turri`s, were
developed to enable the blind to write.
An index typewriter with a circular keyboard is one of many designs
of early typewriters which did not become widely adopted.
In 1829 William Austin Burt patented a machine called the "Typographer."
Like many other early machines, it is sometimes listed as the "first typewriter";
the Science Museum (London) describes it merely as "the first writing mechanism
whose invention was documented," but even that claim may be excessive, since Turri`s
machine is well known. Even in the hands of its inventor, it was slower
than handwriting. Burt and his promoter John D. Sheldon never found a buyer
for the patent, and it was never commercially produced. Because it used a dial to
select the character instead of having an individual key for each character, it
was an "index typewriter" rather than a "keyboard typewriter," if it is to be considered
a typewriter at all. From 1829 to 1870, many printing or typing machines were patented
by inventors in Europe and America, but none went into commercial production. Charles
Thurber developed multiple patents; his first, in 1843, was developed as an aid
to the blind. See Cha rles Thurber`s 1845 Chirographer, as an example.
In 1855 the Italian Giuseppe Ravizza created a prototype typewriter called
"Cembalo scrivano o macchina da scrivere a tasti." It was an advanced machine that
let the user see the writing as it was typed.
Fr. Azevedo`s typewriter
Father Francisco Joo de Azevedo, a Brazilian priest, made his own typewriter
in 1861 with poor materials, such as wood and knives. D. Pedro I, the Brazilian
emperor, in that same year, presented a gold medal to Father Azevedo for this invention.
Many Brazilian people as well as Brazilian federal government recognize Fr. Azevedo
as the real inventor of the typewriter, a claim that has been the subject of controversy.
The Austrian Peter Mitterhofer created a typewriter in 1864, but it was
never produced commercially. Mitterhofer continued to improve his original model
and created five different enhanced typewriters until 1868.
The Hansen Writing Ball, invented in 1865. This model is from 1870
In 1865 Rev. Rasmus Malling-Hansen of Denmark invented the Hansen Writing
Ball, which went into commercial production in 1870 and was the first commercially
sold typewriter. It was a success in Europe and was reported being used in offices
in London as late as 1909. Additionally, Malling-Hansen used a solenoid
escapement to return the carriage on some of his models and was responsible for
the first "electric" typewriter. From the book Hvem er Skrivekuglens Opfinder
, written by Malling-Hansen`s daughter Johanne Agerskov, we know that Malling-Hansen
in 1865 made a porcelain model of the keyboard of his writing ball and experimented
with different placements of
Writing Ball: model from 1878
the letters to achieve the fastest writing speed. Malling-Hansen placed the letters
on short pistons that went directly through the ball and down to the paper, and
this, together with placement of the letters so that the fastest writing fingers
struck the most frequently used letters, made the Hansen Writing Ball the first
typewriter to produce text substantially faster than a person could write by hand.
Malling-Hansen developed his typewriter further through the 1870s and 1880s and
made many improvements, but the writing head remained the same. On the first model
of the writing ball from 1870, the paper was attached to a cylinder inside a wooden
box. In 1874 the cylinder was replaced by a carriage, moving underneath the writing
head. Then, in 1875, the well-known, tall model was patented, and it was the first
of the writing balls that worked without electricity. Malling-Hansen attended the
world exhibitions in Vienna in 1873 and Paris in 1878. At both places, he received
the first-prize medals for hi s invention.
1868 patent drawing for the typewriter invented by Christopher L. Sholes,
Carlos Glidden, and J. W. Soule.
In 1867 Christopher Sholes, Carlos Glidden, and Samuel W. Soule invented
another typewriter. The patent (US 79,265) was sold for $12,000 to Densmore and
Yost, who made an agreement with E. Remington and Sons (then famous as a
manufacturer of sewing machines) to commercialize what was known as the Sholes
and Glidden Type-Writer. Remington started production of their first typewriter
on March 1, 1873, in Ilion, New York. Another early typewriter manufacturer
The ability to view what is typed as it is typed is taken for granted today.
In all early keyboard typewriters, however, the typebars struck upwards against
the bottom of the platen. Thus, what was typed was not visible until the typing
of subsequent lines caused it to scroll into view. The difficulty with any other
arrangement was ensuring that the typebars fell back into place reliably when the
key was released. This was eventually achieved with ingenious mechanical designs,
and so-called "visible typewriters" were introduced in 1895. Surprisingly, the older
style continued in production as late as 1915.
Most models of mechanical typewriters incorporate a bell, which warns that
the typist is approaching the right margin and should start a new line after completing
the word being typed. The large lever at the left of this machine was used to perform
a carriage return, enabling the typist to begin a new line of text.
By about 1920, the "manual" or "mechanical" typewriter had reached a more or
less standardized design. There were minor variations from one manufacturer to another,
but most typewriters followed the design noted below:
Each key was attached to a typebar that had the corresponding letter molded
into its other end. When a key was struck briskly and firmly, the typebar hit a
ribbon (usually made of inked fabric) stretched in front of a cylindrical
platen that moved back and forth. The paper was rolled around by the typewriter`s
platen, which was then rotated by a lever (the "carriage return" lever at the far
left) to each new line of text. Some ribbons were inked in black and red, each a
stripe half the width and the entire length of the ribbon. A lever on most machines
allowed switching between colors for typing bookkeeping entries, where negative
amounts had to be in red.
Though electric typewriters would not achieve widespread popularity until nearly
a century later, the basic groundwork for the electric typewriter was laid by the
Universal Stock Ticker, invented by Thomas Edison in 1870. This device remotely
printed letters and numbers on a stream of paper tape from input generated by a
specially designed typewriter at the other end of a telegraph line.
The first electric typewriter was produced by the Blickensderfer Manufacturing
Company, of Stamford, Connecticut, in 1902. While never marketed commercially, this
was the first known typewriter to use a typewheel rather than individual typebars,
although the element was cylindrical rather than ball-shaped. The next step in the
development of the electric typewriter came in 1909, when Charles and Howard Krum
file a patent for the first practical teletype machine in 1909. The Krum`s machine
also used a typewheel rather than individual typebars. While innovative, neither
of these machines reached the business or personal consumer.
Electrical typewriter designs removed the direct mechanical connection
between the keys and the element that struck the paper. Not to be confused with
later electronic typewriters, electric typewriters contained only a single
electrical component: the motor. Where the keystroke had previously moved a typebar
directly, now it engaged mechanical linkages that directed mechanical power from
the motor into the typebar. This was also true of the forthcoming IBM Selectric.
IBM and Remington electric typewriters were the leading models until IBM introduced
the IBM Selectric typewriter, which replaced the typebars with a spherical typeball
(more correctly, "element"), slightly larger than a golf ball, with the letters
molded on its surface. The Selectric used a system of latches, metal tapes, and
pulleys driven by an electric motor to rotate the ball into the correct position
and then strike it against the ribbon and platen. The typeball moved laterally in
front of the paper instead of the former platen-carrying carriage moving the paper
across a stationary print position.
replaceable IBM typeballs with clip, 2 Euro coin to compare
The typeball design had many advantages, especially in eliminating of "jams"
when more than one key was struck at once, and in the ability to change the typeball,
allowing multiple fonts to be used in a single document. Selectric mechanisms were
widely incorporated into computer terminals in the 1970s, because the typing mechanism
was reasonably fast and jam-free; could produce very high quality output compared
to competitors such as Teletype machines, could be initiated by a short, low-force
mechanical action; did not require the movement of a heavy "type basket" in order
to shift between lower- and upper-case; and did not require the platen roller assembly
to move from side to side (which would be a problem with continuous-feed paper).
The IBM 2741 terminal was a very popular example of a Selectric-based computer terminal,
and similar mechanisms were employed as the console devices for many IBM System/360
computers. These mechanisms did use "ruggedized" designs compared to those in standard
commerci al typewriters.
Later models of IBM Executives and Selectrics replaced inked fabric ribbons with
"carbon film" ribbons that had a dry black or colored powder on a "once-through"
clear plastic tape. These could be used only once but later models used a cartridge
that was simple to replace. A side effect of this technology is that the text typed
on the machine can be easily read from the used ribbon. This "feature" raised issues
where the machines were used for preparing classified documents; ribbons had to
be accounted for to ensure that typists didn`t walk out with them in pockets or
purses. A document reconstructed from a used carbon ribbon was portrayed as the
key to solving a crime in an episode of Columbo.
Electronic typewriter - the final stage in typewriters development. A 1989
Canon Typestar 110
A variation known as "Correcting Selectrics" introduced correction, where a sticky
tape in front of the print ribbon could remove the black-powdered image of a typed
character, and introduced selectable "pitch" so that the typewriter could be switched
among pica ("10 pitch", or 10 characters per inch) and elite ("12 pitch"), even
in one document. Even so, all Selectrics were monospaced each and every character
was allotted the same horizontal space on the page. Although IBM had produced a
successful typebar-based machine, the IBM Executive, with proportional spacing,
no proportionally spaced Selectric office typewriter was ever introduced. There
was, however, a much more expensive proportionally spaced machine called the Selectric
Composer which was capable of right-margin justification and so was considered
a typesetting machine rather than a typewriter, and the more reasonably priced
IBM Electronic Typewriter 50, which was capable of proportional spacing but not
The final major development of the typewriter was the "electronic" typewriter.
Most of these replaced the typeball with a daisy wheel mechanism (a disk with
the letters molded on the outside edge of the "petals"). A plastic daisy-wheel was
much simpler and cheaper than the typeball but wore out more easily. Some electronic
typewriters were in essence dedicated word processors with internal memory and
cartridge or diskette external memory-storage devices. Unlike the Selectrics and
earlier models, these really were "electronic" and relied on integrated circuits
and multiple electromechanical components.
Towards the end of the commercial popularity of typewriters in the 1980s, a number
of hybrid designs combining features of computer printers and typewriters were
These typically incorporated keyboards from existing models of typewriters and
the printing mechanism of dot-matrix printers. The generation of teletypes
with impact pin-based printing engines was not adequate for the demanding quality
required for typed output. Newly developed, thermal transfer technologies used
in thermal label printers had become technically feasible for typewriters.
IBM produced a series of typewriters called Thermotronic with letter-quality
output and correcting tape along with printers tagged Quietwriter. Brother
extended the life of their typewriter product line with similar products. DEC
meanwhile had the DECwriter.
The development of these proprietary printing engines provided the vendors with
exclusive markets in consumable ribbons and the possibility to use standardised
printing engines with varying degrees of electronic and software sophistication
to develop product lines.
The increasing dominance of personal computers and the introduction of low-cost,
truly high-quality, laser and inkjet printer technologies are replacing
Today, with the proliferation of the personal computer with word processing
software, typewriters would seem to have faded into near-obscurity. However
typewriters were commonly used in professional offices (lawyers, doctors, schools,
etc.) for specialized applications such as filling out pre-printed forms, addressing
envelopes, and writing letters. However, in recent years computer programs have
enabled computer users to accomplish most or all of these tasks.
The monospaced, stark, and slightly uneven look of typewritten text can have
some artistic appeal, and some people, young or old, prefer to use a typewriter.
The QWERTY layout of typewriter keys became a de facto standard and continues
to be used long after the reasons for its adoption have ceased to apply.
In some less developed countries, where personal computers are not ubiquitous,
one may find public spaces with individuals who rent out their services as on-the-spot
letter writers, accepting dictation from their customers, who may be illiterate
or who simply do not own a typewriter. In Mexico, for example, such a thing can
be seen daily on Calle Heroes de Caonero in downtown Tampico.
The 1874 Sholes & Glidden typewriters established the QWERTY layout for the
letter keys. During the period in which Sholes and his colleagues were experimenting
with this invention, other keyboard arrangements were apparently tried, but these
are poorly documented. The tantalizing near-alphabetical sequence on the "home row"
of the QWERTY layout (d-f-g-h-j-k-l) demonstrates that a straightforward alphabetical
arrangement was the original starting point . The QWERTY layout of keys
has become the de facto standard for English-language typewriter and computer
keyboards. Other languages written in the Latin alphabet may use variants of
the QWERTY layouts, such as the French AZERTY, the Italian QZERTY, and the
German QWERTZ layouts.
The QWERTY layout is certainly far from the most efficient, since it requires
a touch-typist to move his or her fingers between rows to type the most common letters.
A popular story suggests that it was used for early typewriters because it
was inefficient; it slowed a typist down so as to reduce the frequency of the typewriter`s
typebars` wedging together and jamming the machine. Another story is that the QWERTY
layout allowed early typwriter salesmen to impress their customers by being able
to easily type out the example word "typewriter" without having learnt the full
keyboard layout, because "typewriter" can be spelled purely on the top row of the
keyboard. The most likely likely explanation is that the QWERTY arrangement was
designed to reduce the likelihood of internal clashing by placing commonly used
combinations of letters farther away from each other inside the machine
. This allowed the user to actually type faster without jamming. Unfortunately,
no definitive explanation for the QWERTY keyboard has been found, and typewriter
aficionados continue to debate the issue.
A number of radically different layouts, such as the Dvorak keyboard, have
been proposed to reduce the perceived inefficiencies of QWERTY, but these have not
been able to displace the QWERTY layout; their proponents claim considerable advantages,
but so far none has been widely used. The Blickensderfer typewriter with its
DHIATENSOR layout may have possibly been the first attempt at optimizing the keyboard
layout for efficiency advantages.
Many old typewriters do not contain a separate key for the numeral 1, and some
even older ones also lack the numeral zero. Typists learned the habit of using the
lowercase letter l for the digit 1, and the uppercase O for the zero. Some still
carry the habit of using the letter l instead of the numeral 1 with them when typing
on a computer, sometimes leading to errors, especially when working with numerical
Several words of the `typewriter age` have survived into the personal computer
era. Examples include:
Because the typebars of this typewriter strike upwards, the typist in this French
postcard, c. 1910, could not have seen characters as they were typed.
- carbon copy now in its abbreviated form "CC" designating copies of email
messages (with no carbon involved, at least not until potential printouts);
- cursor a marker used to indicate where the next character will be printed
- carriage return (CR) indicating an end of line and return to the first
column of text (and on some computer platforms, advancing to the next line)
- line feed (LF), aka `newline` standing for moving the cursor to
the next on-screen line of text in a word processor document (and on the eventual
printout(s) of the document).
According to the standards taught in secretarial schools in the mid- 1900s,
a business letter was supposed to have no mistakes and no visible corrections.
Accuracy was prized as much as speed. Indeed, typing speeds, as scored in proficiency
tests and typewriting speed competitions, included a deduction of ten words for
every mistake that was made.
Corrections were, of course, necessary, and a variety of methods and technologies
The traditional method involved the use of a special typewriter eraser. The typewriter
eraser was made of fairly hard, stiff rubber, containing abrasive material. It was
in the shape of a thin, flat disk, approx. 2 inches (50 mm) in diameter by 1/8 inch
(3 mm) thick allowing for the erasure of individual typed letters. Business letters
were typed on heavyweight, high-rag-content bond paper, not merely to provide a
luxurious appearance, but also to stand up to erasure. Typewriter erasers were equipped
with a brush for brushing away eraser crumbs and paper dust, and using the brush
properly was an important element of typewriting skill, because if erasure detritus
fell into the typewriter, a very small buildup could cause the typebars to jam in
their narrow supporting grooves.
Erasing a set of carbon copies was particularly difficult, and called for the
use of a device called an eraser shield to prevent the pressure of erasure
on the upper copies from producing carbon smudges on the lower copies.
Paper companies produced a special form of typewriter paper called erasable
bond (for example, Eaton`s Corrasable Bond). This incorporated a thin layer
of material that prevented ink from penetrating and was relatively soft and easy
to remove from the page. An ordinary soft pencil eraser could quickly produce perfect
erasures on this kind of paper. However, the same characteristics that made the
paper erasable made the characters subject to smudging due to ordinary friction
and deliberate alteration after the fact, making it unacceptable for business correspondence,
contracts, or any archival use.
In the 1950s and 1960s, correction fluid made its appearance, under brand
names such as Liquid Paper, Wite-Out and Tipp-Ex. This was a kind of
opaque white fast-drying paint which produced a fresh white surface onto which a
correction could be re-typed. However, when held to the light, the covered-up characters
were visible, as was the patch of dry correction fluid (which was never perfectly
flat, and never a perfect match for the color, texture, and luster of the surrounding
paper). The standard trick for solving this problem was photocopying the corrected
page, but this was possible only with high quality photocopiers, and was not practical
with color letterheads. (However, high quality typists were smart enough to place
the color letterhead stock in the copier, and photocopy the corrected typed-text-only-on-plain-paper
document onto the color letterhead.)
Dry correction products (such as correction paper) under brand names such
as "Ko-Rec-Type" were introduced in the 1970s and functioned like white carbon paper.
A strip of the product was placed over the letters needing correction, and the incorrect
letters were retyped, causing the black character to be overstruck with a white
overcoat. Similar material was soon incorporated in carbon-film electric typewriter
ribbons; like the traditional two-color black-and-red inked ribbon common on manual
typewriters, a black/white correcting ribbon became commonplace on electric typewriters.
The pinnacle of this kind of technology was the IBM Electronic Typewriter
series. These machines, and similar products from other manufacturers, used a separate
correction ribbon and a character memory. With a single keystroke, the typewriter
was capable of automatically reversing and overstriking the previous characters
with minimal marring of the paper. White cover-up or plastic lift-off correction
ribbons are used with fabric ink or carbon film typing ribbons, respectively.
Typing speed records and speed contests
During the 1920s through 1940s, typing speed was an important secretarial qualification
and typing contests were popular, publicized by typewriter companies as promotional
As of 2005, Barbara Blackburn is the fastest typist in the world, according
to The Guinness Book of World Records. Using the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard,
she has maintained 150 word/min for 50 min and 170 word/min for shorter periods
and has been clocked at a peak speed of 212 word/min. Blackburn, who failed her
typing class in high school, first encountered the Dvorak keyboard in 1938, quickly
learned to achieve very high speeds, and occasionally toured giving speed-typing
demonstrations during her secretarial career. She appeared on The David Letterman
Show and was deeply offended by Letterman`s comedic treatment of her
Popular software named " Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing" had led many people
to assume that there is a woman named Mavis Beacon who is a very good typist. In
reality, Mavis Beacon is a fictional promotional character.
Typewriters in Music
The Composer Leroy Anderson wrote a short piece of music for orchestra and
typewriter, which has since been used as the theme for numerous radio programs.
Because of the tolerances of the mechanical parts, slight variation in the alignment
of the letters and their uneven wear, each typewriter has its individual "signature"
or " fingerprint", allowing a typewritten document to be tracked back to
the typewriter it was produced on. In the Eastern Bloc, typewriters (together
with printing presses, copy machines, and later computer printers) were
a controlled technology, with secret police in charge of maintaining files of
the typewriters and their owners. (In the Soviet Union, the organization in
charge of typewriters was the First Department of the KGB.) This posed a
significant risk for dissidents and samizdat authors. This method of identification
was also used in the trial of Alger Hiss.
Black/white computer printers have their "fingerprints" as well, but to lesser
degree. Modern color printers and photocopiers typically add printer identification
encoding -- a steganographic pattern of minuscule yellow dots, encoding
the printer`s serial number -- to the printout.
Other forensic identification method can involve analysis of the ribbon ink.
- Typewriter desk
- List of desk forms and types
- Word processing
- Fountain pen
- Liquid Paper
- Correction paper
- Duplicating machines
- Carbon paper
- Mimeograph machine
Printers and Fonts
- Daisy wheel printer
- Computer printer
- Dot matrix printer (ballistic wire printer)
- The Virtual Typewriter Museum
- Timeline of invention
- William F. Friedman
- Infinite monkey theorem
- Office of the future
- Not a typewriter
- Dvorak Keyboard
- Typewriter keyboard
- Alphanumeric keyboard
- Chorded keyboard
- DeQuervain`s syndrome
Corporations and typewriters
- IBM Executive series typewriter
- IBM Selectric typewriter
- Smith Corona
- Enigma machine
- Hebern Rotor Machine
- KL-7, Fialka
- Rotor machine
Use as Computer peripherals
- UNIVAC 1102
- Frieden Flexowriter
^ Typewriter history. precision-dynamics.com.au. Retrieved
on 2006- 03-10. ^ William Austin Burt`s Typographer 1829.
Science Museum. Retrieved on 2006- 03-10. ^ Typewriter
and Inventors. Retrieved on 2006- 07-12. ^ Early Office
Museum: Antique Typewriters. Retrieved on 2006- 03-10.
^ Otto Burghagen, Die Schreibmaschine. Illustrierte Beschreibung
aller gangbaren Schreibmaschinen nebst grndlicher Anleitung zum Arbeiten auf smtlichen
Systemen. Hamburg 1898. ^ Dieter Eberwein, Nietzsches Schreibkugel.
Ein Blick auf Nietzsches Schreibmaschinenzeit durch die Restauration der Schreibkugel.
Eberwein-Typoskriptverlag, Schauenburg 2005. ^ Johanne Agerskov,
Hvem er Skrivekuglens Opfinder . Kbenhavn 1925. ^ David,
P.A. (1986): Understanding the Economics of QWERTY: the NEcessity of History. In:
Parker, William N.: Economic History and the Modern Economist. Basil Blackwell,
New York and Oxford. ^ David, P.A. (1986): Understanding the Economics
of QWERTY: the NEcessity of History. In: Parker, William N.: Economic History and
the Modern Economist. Basil Blackwell, New York and Oxford. ^ Barbara
Blackburn. Retrieved on 2006- 03-10.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Typewriter
- goodtyping - Free online typing course
- The Classic Typewriter Page
- Barbara Blackburn, the World`s Fastest Typist
- Museum of Typewriters and Calculators at the Finnish Business College
- The Boston Typewriter Orchestra
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typewriter"
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Random Creativity - By Mark L. Fox
It has been proven you have lost 95% of the creativity you once had. Want
The fact is we are all born with enormous amounts of creativity, but over time
the school systems and socialization beat it out of us. We are all pushed to ?conform
to the norm? and are often discouraged to try new things. The good news is there
are proven and practical tools available to help you think creatively again. The
best part is they are easy to learn.
What stops us from thinking creative naturally? Basically our minds are a ?pattern
recognition system?. Our minds are very efficient at pattern recognition processing
and we couldn?t function effectively otherwise. Essentially we are creatures of
habit and we don?t accept new ideas and concepts that don?t fit our pre-established
thinking or ?mind patterns.?
To come up with new ideas, we need to find a way to break these mind patterns.
There are two ways in which they can be broken: accidental or deliberate. ?Accidental?
is when you just sit around and wait for ideas to pop in your head. We have all
had success with this method, but it is unpredictable and slow. A much better method
is to use a set of deliberate tools that are faster and much more effective.
One of the simplest tools is called ?random entry.? The concept is simple and
straightforward. You can do this by yourself or with a brainstorming team. The team
concept is the more effective and works best with 8-12 people. Start off by writing
down the issue or problem you are trying to resolve into a ?problem statement.?
Next, introduce a ?random input? to your thinking. The idea here is that the
random input will force you to think of new ideas that you wouldn?t normally think
of. Take the random input and use it to brainstorm as many new ideas as you possibly
can. What new ideas does this random input make you think of? What does the new
input and your problem have in common? What does this new input suggest? What else
could this lead to? What you are trying to do is generate new solutions to the problem
using the random input as a stimulus or springboard to new ideas.
If you are like most people, your first reaction will be that the random input
has nothing to do with your problem and therefore you will want to disregard it.
Don?t do it. Think for a while and force yourself to find as many associations as
you can between the two. The reason you don?t immediately see the similarities is
that it doesn?t fit your expected mind pattern. The biggest mistake made is to discard
the random input and move on to another random input, another creative thinking
tool, or worse just give up. Don?t do it. Force yourself to come up with some new
ideas. I promise you that you will never pick a random input where you can?t find
dozens of new ideas if you just use your imagination and take a little time to think.
There are several methods you can use to generate these random inputs. The 1st
is to simply close your eyes and point to a random place on a page of a magazine
or newspaper. Keep in mind that nouns work best so you may want to keep picking
words until you hit a noun. Another method is to use a ?random word generator.?
Several of these can be found by simply typing in ?random word generator? into Google
search. You can find some free software programs on the web and some even better
ones for as little as a $1 or so.
Another approach, which is my favorite, is to pick any word you can think of
and type it into Google search. When the results are displayed in Google, the default
is the ?web? format. If you look at the top left hand part of the page you will
see the tab labeled ?web? highlighted. Just to the right of it is the ?images? tab.
Click on that and the search results will now show images only.
Pick anyone of the images and use the ?picture? as the random input instead of
a word or noun as described above. With an Internet connection and a projector you
can display the picture for the whole room to see. You will often find that the
ambiguity of a picture will generate even more creative ideas than just a random
The ?random entry? tool is one of many tools taught as part of the ?Sly as Fox
Creative Thinking Program.?
Title: Random Creativity
Author: Mark L. Fox
Web Site: www.slyasafox.com
Mark L. Fox is a leading authority
on teaching practical creative thinking techniques for business. He has a Chemical
Engineering degree and an MBA and has held top management positions in Rocket Science,
Aircraft Hydraulics, Engineering Services, Customer Service, Software and e-Business.
You can learn more about creative thinking and his program at
www.slyasafox.com or e-mail him at
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