ASCII art and its precursors

Alexis Madrigal explores the history of typewritten images, from their present nadir in YouTube comments to Illustrated Phonographic World's 1893 efforts to prove the value of the medium.
The Reporter's Journal agreed with the Phonetic Journal about "the foolishness of attempting to make sketches by means of typewriters." Furthermore, the London publication continued, "Some of our American contemporaries indulge largely in facsimiles of this class of work, and this has tended to foster the absurd custom." Stung by the white glove, Illustrated Phonographic World set out to prove that typewriter sketches were indeed worthy of respect. "We believe that any endeavor which will cultivate painstaking and accuracy on the part of operators should be encouraged," they wrote. "The endeavor to excel in artistic typewriting unquestionable does this. The pen maketh the exact man; so will the typewriter, which is only the modern pen."

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  1. I damn well deserve an award for this headline.

  2.     Λ_Λ
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  3. It would seem there are two varieties of ASCII art: those that act as line drawings, and those that emulate continuous tone photos.

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