The Interrobang, part 2 of 2

The interrobang’s arrival on the keyboard of Remington Rand’s Model 25 typewriter brought with it a new wave of interest in the character. In common with its appearance in Richard Isbell’s Americana, the mark’s transition from hot metal type to the typewriter keyboard was the result of a happy coincidence: a Remington Rand graphic designer saw ATF’s sample brochure for the font and lobbied in turn for its provision on his company’s typewriters. The Model 25’s replaceable key and typehead allowed different characters to be installed as required, providing the perfect vehicle for promoting this as-yet unproven mark of punctuation. Remington Rand entertained ideas of effecting a revolution in punctuation with its new interrobang key, and said as much in an internal newsletter:

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The Interrobang, part 1 of 2

1962 was a momentous year for the United States of America. John Glenn became the first American, and only the second human, to reach orbit; the Kennedy administration successfully negotiated the nuclear tightrope of the Cuban missile crisis, taking the world within a hair’s breadth of nuclear war in the process; and NASA launched AT&T’s Telstar, the world’s first telecommunications satellite, ushering in a new era of instantaneous global communications. Consumer society too was reaching new heights: advertising ruled, and the ad men were at the peak of their game.

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