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Definition: Selectric typewriter

Introduced in 1961 by IBM, the first typewriter to use a golf ball-like type element that moved across the paper, rather than moving the paper carriage across the print mechanism. Allowing different fonts to be used by switching balls, it rapidly became one of the world's most popular typewriters. IBM always excelled in electromechanical devices. In 1991, IBM's typewriter division was spun off into Lexmark International. See typewriter.

The Selectric "Golf" Ball
Selectric typewriters were office workhorses for decades. This type element sits in a 27-year old Selectric II that was purchased in 1979 and still going strong in 2006, probably because the machine was professionally cleaned every four or five years.