Manual typewriters are enjoying a comeback at Amherst College.
Like most American institutions, the college has a thriving party scene, where students who want to socialize can knock back a few drinks and grind the night away to pounding bass lines.
"But we also have a large part of the population who really aren't interested in dancing in a dark basement," says Crista Reed, assistant director of student activities. So this fall the college started "Amherst After Dark," a 10 p.m.-to-2 a.m. program meant to provide consistent social options for students who want to stay out late and remain sober.
As one of September's activities, Ms. Reed proposed a "letter-writing social," hearkening back to her own days as a "slightly dorky undergrad" at Roanoke College who eschewed late-night parties in favor of things like writing letters to relatives and high-school friends. This fall Ms. Reed ordered three manual typewriters, some hand-cut quill pens, stationery, postcards, postage stamps, and even wax cartridges for a hot-glue gun so that students could artfully seal their letters without using open flames.
She was expecting 150 to 200 students to show up. She drew 350. ...
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