The opening of the video shows rainbow stripes moving across the screen from left to right. A cloud shape pops into the coloured stripes containing an image of an old fashioned typewriter. The video title 'What Is This' is superimposed on the typewriter. A question mark bounces into position at the end of the text ('What Is This ?') and an eyeball rolls around in the dot forming the bottom of the question mark and winks. Upbeat music plays in the background. A swarm of question marks moves across and fills the frame. It cuts to an animated television screen with spinning question marks in it. A tapping sound can be heard. The vision cuts to Angela, the presenter.
ANGELA: I can hear some very fast tap, tap, tapping ... like something being hit.
TEDDY: And I heard a bell ring. But I can't guess what it is just by the sound. Do you think we could see the object?
ANGELA: Sure, Teddy.
(The keys which are round with brass edges and the letter in the middle appears in the television screen. Angela and Teddy turn to look at it.)
ANGELA: What can you see?
TEDDY: Ahh, that's a keyboard. Ooh. I know! I know! It's a computer. But the keys are round. And where's the screen?
(The camera pulls out to a wider shot as Teddy describes what he sees. Then it cuts back to Angela).
ANGELA: Well, Teddy. It has a keyboard like a computer, but that's not what it is.
(Angela and Teddy are on the screen with the typewriter between them. It has a piece of paper protruding from the top of it.)
ANGELA: Let's see if we can figure it out. What do you think it's made of?
TEDDY: It looks ... (touching the object) and feels like metal.
(Angela uses pencil to tap a side of object. A metallic tapping sound is heard.)
ANGELA: And ... it sounds like metal, too. Do you think it is old or new?
TEDDY: Mmm ... it has lots of scratches on it. And some of the letters on these round keys look a bit worn out. (Close up of keys with letters on them.) I think it's old.
ANGELA: You're right, Teddy. Often, when we look closely at things, we can figure out whether they are old or new. This is called a typewriter, and typewriters were made around 150 years ago.
(The the word 'typewriter' appears in the animated the television screen.)
ANGELA: This one was made in 1924.
TEDDY: That's a long time ago, isn't it?
ANGELA: It is, Teddy. About 90 years ago. Typewriters were used for many years to write with.
TEDDY: Like I can on my computer?
ANGELA: Yes, but a typewriter prints the letters of the alphabet straight onto a piece of paper that was threaded through this roller. (Angela points to the roller, turns the knob and moves the paper through roller.)
TEDDY (laughs): The roller looks just like a rolling pin.
(Close up of the roller gears.)
ANGELA: It does, Teddy. Each of these tiny hammers, placed in a row ...
(Angela points to the row of hammers in typewriter. Camera shows close up of hammers.)
TEDDY: In between the keyboard and the roller ...
ANGELA: ... has a different letter on each one.
(Close up of hammers showing upper and lower case letters on each hammer.)
ANGELA: And when we hit a key, look what happens.
(Angela pushes down on the 'T' key on the typewriter. Close up of the 'T' hammer coming up and striking the typewriter ribbon leaving a lower case 't' printed on the paper.)
TEDDY: Wow. The hammer jumps up and hits a ribbon stretched across the roller, and it prints the letter on the paper. How did it do that, Angela?
ANGELA: The ribbon has ink on it, and when the hammer hits it, (close up of hammer hitting ribbon) it leaves an imprint of the letter behind on the paper (a lower case 't' is printed on the paper).
(Close up image of a 1970s portable typewriter appears in the television screen. Cuts to zoom out of the entire typewriter.)
ANGELA: Now, have a look at this typewriter, Teddy.
TEDDY: Wow! The hammers are a bit more covered up, and it isn't just plain black, like the first one. It's a very creamy white.
(A small 1970s portable typewriter has replaced the 1924 typewriter and sits between Teddy and Angela.)
ANGELA: Is it older or newer than the other typewriter?
TEDDY: It looks much more modern, doesn't it? Can you tap it with your pencil please, Angela?
(Close up of Angela tapping typewriter with pencil. It makes a plastic tapping sound.)
TEDDY: (Gasps) That sounds like plastic and it doesn't look so worn out. Some of the keys are different, too; they're square and some of them are red.
(Close up of keys showing shape and colour.)
TEDDY: Yep, I reckon it's newer.
ANGELA: It looks quite a bit smaller, too. So, who do you think would use a typewriter, Teddy?
TEDDY: The typewriter meant we could print as well as write by hand ... so ... anybody who wanted to write things. (Angela nods and gives a thumbs up).
If I wanted to write a book it would be much quicker than doing it with a pencil, I reckon.
ANGELA: That's right. When we compare things we use today with things used in the past, we can notice the changes that have been made.
TEDDY: Like their size, their shape, colour, what they're made of ...
ANGELA: ... and even how they work and what they can do. Well, we have to go now. Say goodbye, Teddy.
TEDDY: Goodbye, Teddy! (Waves and laughs.)
ANGELA: Oh, Teddy. Bye now.
Upbeat music. An animation of rainbow stripes moving across the screen from left to right. A cloud shape pops into the coloured stripes containing an image of a typewriter. The video title 'What Is This?' is superimposed on the typewriter. This dissolves to National Museum of Australia logo.
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The curriculum links in this resource are drawn from the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), Australian Curriculum: History website.