Dot-Matrix Printers

Does anybody else remember the whine of a dot-matrix printer head passing over a paper, making thousands of little dots which transposed digital text and images into analog?

Chalk up the sound of the print head on a dot matrix printer with the sound of a modem dialing, a cassette tape rewinding, and a real bell inside a telephone—these are sounds my kids will likely never hear.


I still have on and use it for my multilayer receipts. I have a 1991 epson AP1000 and I can still buy ribbons for it.

I guess receipt printing is the last major function for dot-matrix. I still hear that sound from time to time around checkout lanes.

I'm sorry to say that, except for the cassette tape rewinding, I have no clue what you're even talking about. And even the cassette is a vague, shadowy recollection. I don't even remember how to use one... But now you've made me want to time travel back to the good old days and see them again. : )

Some other things you may or may not have heard:

  • Rotary telephone 'pulse dialing'.
  • A record stuck on the end of a track ('crackle... crackle... crackle...'). (You wonder where the term 'broken record' comes from?
  • The clack of a manual typewriter.
  • The pop of an incandescent light bulb when you turn it on and the filament explodes.
  • The sound of radiator pipes clanging as if somebody's taking a hammer to them.
  • The sound of a car engine backfiring.

Nope to all of them except for the light bulb, and that is only very occasionally. (I love LEDs!) Sadly, I missed out on all these things by just a few measly years. Although I suppose that's what Youtube is for! XD