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The Selectric is a series of electric typewriters that IBM introduced in 1961. It is most renowned for its implementation of a spherical type-element that rotates according to digital information inferred by a whiffletree.

There were several models and lines of Selectric typewriters and several specialist models with editing ability and access to memory. The first Selectric series was succeeded by Selectric II and Selectric III series. They were available in models with different platen width, which generally came in 11", 13", and 15" options.

Many Selectric typewriters have also been converted into teletypes for use as a computer terminal.

Connection to keyboards

Selectric typewriters have been cited as precursors to all clicky computer keyboards. The IBM Beam spring switch in IBM beam spring keyboards had been designed specifically to have both key feel and sound reminiscent of that of the Selectric typewriters. They also used the same keycaps.

The IBM beam spring was succeeded by the now more famous buckling spring mechanism.

The IBM Selectric Touch Keyboard with buckling-spring switches was named after the typewriters.