ASCII Art – 1948 (Oct, 1948)

This would be a lot of fun without a text editor. One mistake and you have to start over.
More about ASCII Art on Wikipedia.

By Paul Hadley
WHILE purely entertaining, doodling with a typewriter gives vent to the imagination and originality of both the experienced and the hunt-and-peck typist. Fill-in pictures are the easiest to “draw” with a typewriter. An example is shown in the flower which is made with the letter X alone. Such pictures, whether a flower or a portrait, are made by using an outline of the subject as a typing guide. This is done by tracing the outline lightly on paper and backing it with carbon paper to type the picture. Caricature or cartoon “drawing” combines letters with symbols as shown in the examples below. Here, half-spacing of the typewriter is required, as in the case of the owl’s beak and feet. The log cabin shows what can be done in drawing a picture in perspective.

  1. Web Owls » Blog Archive » ASCII Owls says: July 7, 20066:12 am

    […] But the genre goes back further than that. is featuring an article from a 1948 issue of Popular Mechanics that shows an owl created with typewriter art: […]

  2. […] Modern Mechanix ï¿œ ASCII Art – 1948 […]

  3. […] I was recently reading a post regarding typewriter art, the grand-daddy of ASCII art. If you thought it was arduous in a word processor, imagine the patience you’d need to do that on a typewriter? That’s monk level dedication, either that or you’d die from liquid paper fumes. […]

  4. Designs » ASCII Art made in 1948 says: August 31, 20066:57 am

    […] An artical from Popular Mechanics published October 1948 about making ASCII art with a type more | digg story […]

  5. […] It’s obvious creating ASCII Art is time-consuming. At least it’s easier than “Keyboard Art,” but ASCII Art still takes some planning and patience. Luckily, the computer is good at automating things; it literally took me a few seconds to come up with this: […]

  6. Net.Art part 1 « Internet and Network Art says: November 22, 200611:13 am
  7. […] out this Oct 1948 piece in Popular Mechanics on the lost art: Keyboard Art Trackback | Bookmark in […]

  8. Dawn says: December 3, 200810:47 am

    I am looking for instructions to create pictures using the keyboard. Anyone know where I can find any?

  9. Art says: December 17, 20088:51 pm

    Nothing new. We older ham radio operators using keyborad Radio Teletype (and many of the commercial RTTY operators) would send and receive RTTY art using only the limited, all caps X & O of the BAUDOT keyboard. The best one was the train with the engine, cars and smoke. Others, around Christmas would send the art along with a tune played on the return bell of the system. These would be “saved” to the very early memory system – paper tape – and replayed. A lost art although there are some websites dedicated to this.…

  10. […] vraiment tout un art, et avant celui de Dwight [dont voici un PDF], il y avait le “Keyboard Art“, comme on le voit dans ce vieux numéro de Popular Mechanics, datant d’octobre 1948. […]

  11. Technology says: December 18, 20088:38 am

    […] there were ASCII portraits of Dwight [PDF], there was this: “Keyboard Art,” from Popular Mechanics, October […]

  12. ASCII - ????? « ????????????? says: December 18, 200810:00 am

    […] ??:ASCII Art – 1948 (Oct, 1948) […]

  13. […] ASCII Art – 1948 – […]

  14. […] there were ASCII portraits of Dwight [PDF], there was this: “Keyboard Art,” from Popular Mechanics, October […]

  15. […] there were ASCII portraits of Dwight [PDF], there was this: “Keyboard Art,” from Popular Mechanics, October […]

  16. Ascii Art, Since 1948 | Meet Joe's Blog says: December 23, 200810:00 pm

    […] ??????????????? [Ascii Art 1948 : Modern Mechanix] […]

  17. El ASCII art ya es viejo says: January 7, 200911:09 am

    […] Via: Modern Mechanix […]

  18. Brian says: January 28, 20098:44 am

    Interesting. I’ve seen the motion picture of a running man written purly in ascii.

  19. will young says: August 1, 20099:30 am


  20. […] Modern Mechanix » ASCII Art – 1948 […]

  21. Old ASCII Art « The Daily Ping says: January 13, 201010:43 am

    […] artist (who is Keith and why is his computer blowing up?), I couldn’t pass up this link to ASCII art in 1948. Of course, at the time it was called “Keyboard Art,” but it’s essentially the […]

  22. Il codice ASCII « Mariadesantis's Blog says: February 22, 201011:58 am

    […] L’arte ASCII, benché abbia trovato la sua massima diffusione in ambito informatico, non è esclusiva di questo mezzo: un esempio di arte ASCII che precede l’uso dei computer è contenuto nel numero di Ottobre 1948 di Popular Mechanics. […]

  23. […] The concept is not new.    We’ve been using alternative ways to express art for a long time.  I recall when I was a Business Education head that our keyboarding teachers did something along this lines.  Turns out – the concept goes back AT LEAST to 1948. […]

  24. Mitt says: September 22, 20107:16 am


  25. Firebrand38 says: September 22, 20107:36 am

    That went well. I give up, what is it?

  26. u6t5u6r7 says: November 29, 201011:59 pm


  27. anna webb says: February 1, 20119:42 pm

    IS there a site I can go to in order to find typewriter art? I use to do it years ago, but have not been able to find anything I can use now a days. If you know a site I can go to, please send me the email address, or even the mailing address.
    Anna Webb

    [email protected]

  28. […] zu Papier brachten. Die hier abgebildete Eulenkette ist zum Beispiel einer Zeitschrift von 1948 (Popular Mechanics: Keyboard Art) […]

  29. […] ASCII Art – 1948 Tagged as: computer fun […]

  30. Keyboard Art, 1948 | Retronaut says: April 13, 201210:01 am

    […] Source: Modern Mechanix […]

  31. The Original ASCII Art | Eric Chapman says: April 15, 20124:54 pm

    […] Check out this typewriter artwork from 1948. ASCII art is older than we think! Share this: […]

  32. […] at Modern Mechanix Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in Retro […]

  33. […] Antes de los ordenadores también se hacía con el teclado de la máquina de escribir, como recogía este artículo de Popular Mechanics en octubre de 1948. […]

  34. […] Antes de los ordenadores también se hacía con el teclado de la máquina de escribir, como recogía este artículo de Popular Mechanics en octubre de 1948. […]

  35. 9 Noviembre « La capsa espiral says: November 15, 20121:30 am

    […] de la historia perdida Compresion fractal ARC – recursos Cursos virt a la atencio a la diversitat Arte ASCII Psicohistoria moderna Tornar al nostre fus horari Matterhorn Cognom Garcia Share […]

  36. Typewriter Art from 1948 by Paul Hadley says: March 13, 201811:04 am

    […] Keyboard Art from the October, 1948 issue of Popular Mechanics, a predecessor to what would become ASCII art. […]

  37. ONLINE BELEŠKE #26 - Vec Vidjeno says: April 26, 20204:26 am

    […] (link) Share: […]

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