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Definition: Selectric typewriter


Introduced in 1961 by IBM, the Selectric was the first typewriter to use a golf ball-like type element that moved across the paper, rather than moving the paper carriage past the individual character hammers. Allowing different fonts to be used by easily switching balls, the Selectric became extremely popular. See typewriter.






The Selectric "Golf" Ball
Selectric typewriters were office workhorses for decades. This type element sits in a 40-year old Selectric II that was still going strong in 2019. IBM always excelled in electromechanical devices. In 1991, IBM's typewriter division was spun off into Lexmark International, which today is a billion dollar company that manufactures laser printers and imaging products.