Hunting And Pecking Into History

I miss typewriters.  My high school graduation present was a portable manual typewriter, which I used until long after I got my first computer.

But I miss them only in the most perverse, sentimental sense. I hated shopping for typewriter ribbons; I hated white-out and correction tape.  But in my day, I could type 70 words per minute on a Selectric, and not much less on my manual.  I even had a collectible one, once – something I picked up at a rummage sale that dated back to the thirties.

But the era of the typewriter is officially over; the world’s last typewriter factory just closed:

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.

Most of them were built for – I think this is hilarious – government.

UPDATE:  It seemed a little premature.  And it was; there are several other factories still operating.

Although the government is still the primary market.

6 thoughts on “Hunting And Pecking Into History

  1. I first learned to type many-a-year ago in my HS days. I ended up in typing class because I had been kicked out of another elective class due to “conflict” with the teacher. They knew I needed the credits for graduation so in what they thought was a punishment they assigned me to the typing course. At first I thought OH CRAP, but when I entered the class room I found that there were about 25 girls and no other boys. To say the least I had an absolute ball. As it turned out it was one of the best classes I ever took, a skill I’ve used all my life. We used Royal or Remington manuals. Ticky, ticky, ticky, tick, tick, ding, zip…… Ticky, ticky, ticky, tick, tick, ding, zip! Of course later on it was IBM Selectric, and finally word processing. I’ve got to get my hands on an old manual to show the grandkids, they’re sure to be in wonderment of the old technology.

  2. I went to a Catholic high school and my typing teacher was a nun named Sister Alexandra, a/k/a “Big Al.” She would whack your fingers with a ruler if she caught you looking at the keys. Just about everyone who took that class typed at least 60 WPM by the time the class was over. That skill has served me well for over 30 years now.

  3. I was shocked, SHOCKED, to learn that the main customers of obsolete technology would be government–it’s not like I caught on with their purchases of light rail or anything. :^)

  4. Swingline manual typewriter. Dad bought it for us kids, and that’s how I learned my efficient four-finger typing technique.

  5. “One of Swintec’s most robust markets? Prisons.”

    So the prison model outlasted the government model. I don’t know what that says exactly, but it says somthing; probably.

    Or maybe not.

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