I learned to type in the Navy on old manual typewriters. I remember struggling to pass the standard at the time, five tests in a row at 20 wpm. On the ship we used four part carbon message forms with no mistakes allowed. A great deal of interesting language could often be heard emanating from the Communications Control Room. Typing at sea was always interesting with a manual. You had to hold the carriage with one hand as you one-finger typed with your other. The ships roll would often cause the carriage to jump as you began hitting a key. When we received our first electric typewriter in June of 1986 it was like a gift from heaven!
I think I'll practice a little more and see if I can't bump my average up a little.
Update: found this pic online. When I first came to Windsor in Dec of 1988, HMCS Hunter still had a small Communications Centre responsible for transmitting all routine unclassified traffic in the city for military units. For the first two years I was using an old CNCP teletype, as pictured below. You had to type the message once to generate a tape, dial the CommCen in Toronto and then transmit using the tape. It would be 1990 before we finally got a computer terminal. We had a fax machine but it was considered to expensive for routine messages. A few choice words used to emanate out of this office as well, especially when someone used to walk in and step on the tape while I was transmitting.