Wednesday, April 27, 2011

RIP Typewriter

I picked this topic up from the Wall Street Journal and I must say it is one I have been expecting for a long time.

The world's last typewriter maker, Godrej and Boyce stopped producing typewriters and has only a few hundred machines left for sale and some of these are in Arabic. Essentially, this spells the death of the typewriter.

When I first began working at the Middlesex North registry of Deeds in 1995 we had three typewriters...that's really not many for an office of 35 people, but in '95 the word processor was already replacing the typewriter.

Today, 16 years later we have none...sure, we have a few stored in the basement for archival/historical purposes, but none of them really work.

Of the registry's out of service typewriters my favorite is the IBM Selectric...

You remember the Selectric. Its the typewriter with the bouncing ball. Turn that baby on and it hums like a Nascar. And like a precision steering wheel a touch of your finger on a key maneuvers that ball selecting letters in a rapid pace.

Godrej and Boyce is liquidating its final stock and has no plans of manufacturing typewriters in the future.

In a way the demise of the typewriter is sad...but I guess that's how the blacksmith felt when he heard the first internal combustion engine.


Anonymous said...

I guess in places in the third world where the electricity isn't reliable they will keep their manual typewriters & people there repair them.
Sometimes as I watch the computers in my home that my kids own become outmoded in three years I feel there is a place for typewriters. At my doctor's office they have them to fill in forms.

Cathy from Lowell said...

It's actually just the manual typewriters that are going out of production. Used mostly in underdeveloped countries without a steady supply of electricity.