Poem Draft: “Floating Shift Button”

Floating shiftWhen you first look at the keyboard of my Smith-Corona Super-Speed, at the keyboard any similar-age Smith-Corona typewriter, the first thing that always catches your eye are the two big keys on the right and left sides of the bottom row of the keyboard, the Floating Shift keys.

The cursive word Floating has always seemed wonderfully romantic and mysterious to me. It is what has always drawn my eye and heart to vintage Smith-Corona machines. Love is fickle that way.

Those unfamiliar with the Smith-Corona keyboards inevitably ask, “What does the Floating Shift key do?”

For explanation of what the Floating Shift keys do, here is how Richard Polt of The Classic Typewriter Page answered Jerry’s question in the comments section of a post on my Smith-Corona Super-Speed awhile back at MontanaWriter:

A “Floating Shift” is Smith-Corona’s term for a segment shift, i.e. a mechanism in which the segment that holds the typebars moves up and down, instead of the carriage moving up and down. Segment shift is so much easier that it feels like it floats.

Since all poetry is in some form a love poem, you knew a poem about my Smith-Corona Super-Speed was inevitable.



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