The world’s last typewriter factory in India closed its doors in April 2011.

It was a piece of technology that really lasted the distance.


For more than 100 years the typewriter, the bane of secretaries everywhere, was an essential piece of equipment but met its match in the early late 70s when IBM produced it’s first cheap and mass produced computers.

The transformation of the office came at lighting speed with workers training and re-training on the latest computer technology every few months.

When IBM came up with the home computer in 1981, the typewriter was a goner.

Collector Richard Polt, a philosophy professor at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, collects old typewriters and has amassed a staggering 200 individual items dating from 1889 to 1993.

“For the sheer pleasure of the act of writing, I very much enjoy a manual typewriter,” he says.

“It’s like riding a bike instead of driving: sometimes efficiency is not the point.”

The market for vintage typewriters is alive and well.

Says Polt: “Plenty of young people are tired of scatterbrained multitasking, the erosion of privacy, and other effects of digital devices. Good vintage typewriters are selling well, and the few typewriter repair shops still in existence have seen an increase in business.”

Do you recall the days of pesky ribbons and bottles of White Out, and then the glory of the electric typewriter?

Perhaps you still have one stored in a case somewhere. Wonder what the kids would make of it? 



Remember When… We Had 45 RPM Singles?

Remember When… We played Totem Tennis?

Remember When… We loved Chiko Rolls?

Remember When… You used to swing on the Hills Hoist?


Follow us on


  • Reply September 14, 2012


    My mum still has old typewriters – I remember using them for school assignments. Thought I was very professional using them to type up work on.

    We eventually got an electric typewriter – it was amazing at the time – you could type and it would come up on a screen – then after you read over it you could transfer it to paper – saving the need for white out or re-typing it all. You could store 10 documents on it – I was very impressed by how advanced this was! Mum still has it – I must make an effort to get it out and have a play with it.

    What makes me laugh at the moment are smart tvs. Using your tv as a computer – that is exactly what our first computer was – the Vic 20 we plugged it into our tv and sat around playing games, learning to type and program.

  • Reply September 17, 2012


    I’m Gen X but I own two typewriters which I wish I had more time to use. I learned to touch type on an actual typewriter when I started my first job at 18 years old in the 1990’s. My kids have loved playing with my old typewriter – a fun support tool for pre-literacy learning.

  • Reply September 19, 2012


    I learnt to type on an Olivetti (manual of course). I also have my great-aunt’s typewriter – a Remington noiseless!

    And pre-white out – do you remember the hard erasers?

  • Reply September 20, 2012

    sue bell

    Hell I’m so old I remember gestetna and roneo machines, carbon paper and tip ex . I used to have a wind up gramaphone that played 78 rpm records. You could use pine needles as the record needle when you ran out and I used to give my chickens merry go rounds on it. To play Beethoven on 78s you had five records, therefore ten sides to play. It did make the music disjointed.

  • Reply September 25, 2012


    Got my grandfather’s old 1930’s portable typewriter out to show the kids. Now they know why how the shift and return keys got their names!

Leave a Reply