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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

100 years ago in Spokane: The nation’s fastest typist wowed the city with her speed and accuracy while on a promotional tour for typewriters

 (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
(Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

Bessie Friedman of New York visited the Spokane Daily Chronicle offices and showed off her world-champion skills as a typist.

She hammered out 154 words a minute without an error on one of the newspaper’s Underwoods.

But that’s not all. She rattled off 150 words per minute while simultaneously adding and computing a mathematical problem in a column of five-figure numbers.

“Does typewriting come naturally to me? Well, I wouldn’t say that,” she said. “Whatever I have achieved has come through hard work and diligent application. That sounds copy-bookish, but states the case more accurately.”

She was the nation’s reigning speed-typing champion, having won the competition in New York. Now she was touring the country for the Underwood Typewriter Co.

All of the two-finger-typing cub reporters in the Chronicle office were duly impressed, no doubt.

From the weather beat: A state official said he knew of a sure-fire solution to the dust storms plaguing Eastern Washington: irrigation.

Specifically, the proposed Columbia Basin Irrigation Project.

The director of the state Department of Reclamation and Conservation said his mind was “about convinced we will have comparatively little dust in Eastern Washington” when the dry lands on the east side of the Columbia River were watered and cultivated.

This was proved to be a trifle optimistic.

Also on this day


1943: An assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler fails.

1984: A part of Central Park in New York City is named Strawberry Fields in honor of John Lennon.

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