Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Typewriter: “Reports of My Death ...”

Will history remember this day? Will the reverberations be heard around the world? Or will it be, to paraphrase TS Eliot, that the typewriter goes not with a bang, but a whimper? And the date that we’re remarking is significant because today the last typewriter factory in the world shut its doors. From the Daily Mail:
It’s an invention that revolutionised the way we work, becoming an essential piece of office equipment for the best part of a century.

But after years of sterling service, that bane for secretaries has reached the end of the line.

Godrej and Boyce -- the last company left in the world that was still manufacturing typewriters -- has shut down its production plant in Mumbai, India, with just a few hundred machines left in stock.
Here’s the whimper: Although the death of the typewriter makes a good story, Gawker pushed a bit further to find that, like the book itself, news of the death of the typewriter is both exaggerated and premature.
... rest easy, annoyingly hirsute hipster Luddites loitering at local cafes: The typewriter is alive and well. How do I know? Well, because I looked on Staples’ website. But don't take my word for it. Let's check in with a typewriter manufacturing expert.
Which they do, where they discover manufacturers in China, Japan and Indonesia are still making typewriters for, among other clients, prisons. That story is here.

Bottom line: In the unlikely event that you’re craving the impact rush of metal letters on paper, it can still be had, but you’re going to have to dig a bit.


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