© System Source

IBM Typeball

The IBM Type ball (commonly referred to as the “golf ball”) changed impact printing for the better. The type ball was the interchangeable type element originally for the Selectric typewriters of the 1960s. Replacing the many levers of individual type bars used in older typewriters, the type ball contains 96 characters including all of the uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and assorted symbols. By pressing a key on the keyboard, the ball will rotate and pivot to the corresponding symbol position and then strike the ink ribbon onto the paper. The greatness of the type ball is that there are over 40 different fonts in font size 10 and 12 that could be interchangeably used, even within the same document. All the type balls are clearly labeled for identification on the top of the ball next to the mounting clip. This particular IBM type ball is a Courier size 10 font.