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?