The End of the Era

No, it doesn`t have to do anything with the biggest news today.
No, this one is a short news I almost missed, placed among lots of news on e-mail I got once a week about achievements (and fails πŸ˜› ) in IT industry. The one I am talking about was, actually, the last on the list and I almost deleted it when it suddenly hit me!!! No more??? Oh… :awww:
I am not sure how many of you have heard about Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd., a company that is actually a part of a Godrej Group holding, a company that " touches the lives of 400 million Indians who use at least one of our products every single day", as it says on their web site. The forementioned company had a factory they decided to close few weeks ago. As the general manager of factory stated, they didn`t have enough orders lately to keep factory alive. They produced a machine that only 50 years ago was the main thing in every office of every company that considered itself serious.


Yes. A typewriter. Ladies and gentleman, the last factory on entire world that produced typewriters, decided to close it because nobody wanted their product anymore :awww:
What started in 1714. as invention by Henry Mill, after 297 years ceased to exist. Well, not exactly because it will become (or maybe already is) a collectors item. But anyway…
Wikipedia article says that In 1829, "William Austin Burt patented a machine called the "Typowriter" which, in common with many other early machines, is listed as the first typewriter". Those early machines barely looked like latest models most of us remember but even after first 100 years of existence it was still developing.
One of the most important "versions" was the one made by "Sholes and Glidden" from Milwaukee in Wisconsin in 1867. It was the first typewriter with QWERTY keyboard, something that will be accepted by other manufacturers and soon become a standard in typewriters industry, and later in computer industry all over the world.


Prototype of the Sholes and Glidden typewriter, 1873, the first commercially successful typewriter, and the first with a QWERTY keyboard.
The golden era of typewriters was during 50s in 20th century. There is an information that company Smith-Corona sold not less than 12 million typewriters in first three months in 1953. :faint: But when first PCs appeared and started to invade market, a number of typewriters signifficantly decreased. At the beginning of 90s it was still about 50.000 machines sold by Godrej & Boyce but last year they sold only 800. India was the last fortress of typewriters and Godrej & Boyce were making them since 1958. Even Jawaharlal Nehru described them as a symbol of Indian independence and industrialization.

One of the latest models, Canon Typestar 110
From Friedrich Nietzsche, through Mark Twain, William S. Burroughs and Ernest Hemingway, typewriter machine was making its quiet but persistent way through literature and industry, connecting them both in its invisible way. Even my favourite book Neuromancer by William Gibson was written with Hermes 2000 model :yes:
So, time to say good bye to typewriters has come. As many things before, development and advance in technology burried them long time ago but it survived longer than some Spectrums, Commodores and Ataris πŸ˜€ And it will be remembered for some time more, until the day, when last one of us who used them, cease to exist in this world as well…

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98 Responses to The End of the Era

  1. gdare says:

    :yes: I remember typing on one of those. Only that one was light blue πŸ˜€

  2. Aqualion says:

    I still have my old Olympia Traveler.And I keep it in working condition.

  3. LorenzoCelsi says:

    I am old enough to have used typewriters even at university, when I finally met the first PCs. On the good side, a typewriter works even in case of nucler war. Or on a desert island. On the bad side, everything else is extremely annoying, the worst is to make mistakes and the need to erase the paper or put that terrible white thing on it that dries and you re-type over.

  4. BabyJay99 says:

    Ooo… we have an electric typewriter in the office but hardly use it by anyone. The typewriter above looks ancient, saw it in a museum here tho but never get to touch it. (Am talking about the first n colorful ones)

  5. Suntana says:

    Nnnnnnnn :no: :no: :no: Say it ain't so.I can't remember the actual Models that I used back in high school, but the Underwood brand certainly rings a bell.Day-Um! That Sholes & Glidden in the 2nd Pic looks more like something that's about to knit a shirt. What the frigg are those things in the middle that look like strands of thread? Where's the Carriage Return? I can't figure out how it works. Are the Key Petals at the top or bottom?

  6. Furie says:

    Just think, if Starbucks had set up typewriters on their tables so writers could be seen writing without laptops, the typewriter would never have gone out of fashion.I read two obituaries for typefaces this year. Seems like everything that created our lives up to now is slowly being replaced by other things. I wonder if that's how you can tell you're getting old. Personally I still go by the price of a can of coke and how much more it costs today. :awww:

  7. Dacotah says:

    I still have my electric typewriter but don't use it anymore. Interesting post Darko. πŸ™‚

  8. edwardpiercy says:

    :rip: typewriter.You know when I lived in Phoenix I took a trip up to Prescott. Visiting the museum there included a lot about the regional history in terms of calvary vs. indians. But for some strange reason they also had a showcase of all sorts of old typewriters, some of which didn't even have the QUERTY keyboard. Totally amazing stuff.Great post. :up:

  9. sanshan says:

    But the clerks at the police station in Belgrade still need them to type your name onto a form that they won't allow you to fill out yourself don't they?I learned to type on a typewriter. Grade 9. I got 65 wpm on my final test! Can't come close to that now. I think that when you are faced with trying to fix the error with that tape you learn to become more accurate. Now, it doesn't matter because we have spell check and automatic error correction.

  10. PainterWoman says:

    Ed, I think you and I visited the same old museum in Prescott. Darko, my dad used to type on a clunky old manual typewriter. I'd use it on occasion but you had to hit the keys really hard. He typed with two fingers and was pretty fast. Wish I still had that old thing. It's hard to believe they'll no longer be made!

  11. KYren says:

    I never used a typewriter. There was a typing shcool across the steet but I just used to look at it standing outside. The first class I joined I joined was a computer class. I think it's very useful to learn typing, my seed is 9 wpm, now that my work involves typing on computers, I wish I had learnt typing. There's a software "typing master" on the net, but its free version teaches only about the "home row" keys and the "e" and "i" keys on the extension row. I wish someone tell me where would I find a free version that will help me make my typing speed at least 50 wpm.

  12. Denis-12 says:

    Good post! I work in Telecom industry for about 20 years and saw alot of technology deaths like this… Typewriter's era end was predicted by first PCs appearance, but sometimes we see, how technological life of the world changes greatly because of such events.. For example, IBM designed first PCs, but this device brake the monopoly of Mainframes… and position of IBM on the market… Thank You!

  13. claudeb says:

    I only used a typewriter once — a big mechanical monster. My mother learned to type on one of those, but didn't use one at work until the early 1990es, when they had the late digital models. And then even their old mainframe was made completely obsolete by a lousy 486…So yeah, the typewriter is dead. But it remains a symbol: http://upnotnorth.net/projects/typewriter/

  14. intothedeep says:

    Good post :up:I still remember my typing class. The teacher would stand in the front of the room, tap her ruler to the desk and call out each letter as 25 typewriters clicked away in unison.a-;-s-l-d-k-f-j-g-hI always thought it was very theraputic πŸ™‚

  15. edwardpiercy says:

    "And remember — keep your eyes on the copy!" my high school typing instructor would say to us.That's the sum total of what I learned in typing class. And something that I quickly cast aside. :p

  16. Aqualion says:

    It is my experience that most journalists type like if it was the first day in school, even if they have been writing for 15 – 20 years: two fingers, eyes fixed on the keyboard. Even some of the best, the old hounds that I have met on my way, type like little old women. It's funny.

  17. edwardpiercy says:

    @ Martin.I think you said once that you yourself typed like that, yeah?

  18. Aqualion says:

    Originally posted by edwardpiercy:

    I think you said once that you yourself typed like that, yeah?

    Oh, yeah. I even have difficulties texting on the phone without looking at the keys… Honestly.

  19. gdare says:

    Lorenzo, I hated mistakes. Using white corrector was annoying in multiple ways: it needed a time to dry and then typing over it was usually messy :irked:Lea, I guess all of you have computers. And noise typewriter make would be annoyung in today`s office. Back then it was normal :DCarol, thank you. You may use it time after time, for fun :DCarlos, you are right, that looks like knitting machine πŸ˜› But on the other side, its "knitting" probably warmed someone`s soul and mind :yes:MikOriginally posted by Furie:

    Personally I still go by the price of a can of coke and how much more it costs today.

    I`ve heard a joke today."When I was young, my mom would give me 20 dinars and I would go to shop and buy a bread, one milk, 10 eggs, 2 packs of butter, a chocolate and a pack of candy. And I would even have for Merry-go-round. Today it is impossible because of those surveilance cameras…. :left: :PBut on a serious note I know what you think. We don`t need economic crisis to see that money is losing its value.Ed, knowing that first typewriter was made in 18th century, it is not surprise they had those machines as showcase. Maybe Old Shutterhand got its nick by typing skills :left: :PSan, it was not in a police station but in that insurrance office nearby. But she was using PC last time I was there :left:65 wpm is light speed for me. I have barely half of that :eyes:Pam, I worked for few years in an office where they had that old Olympia Martin has. One of my duties was to type invoices. I remember having a pain in thumb and both point fingers that I susually used for typing :DKyren, I think I have heard for software that is free, I will have to check on my old software DVDs/CDs :left:Denis, thank you for visiting my blog. You probably remember times when a 160 kB hard disk has about 50kg. Once they would put it in machine, it would be used for a long time. Now, in last few years we have phones that has more RAM and storage than my PC only 10 years ago. Electronics are developing faster than anything I know :left:Felix πŸ˜† Thanks fo the link. But I seriously doubt they would make another model :DMags, it is terapeutic especially if you like classical music 😎

    Martin and Ed – check on previous link. I am wondering how many wpm is that πŸ˜›

  20. KYren says:

    I got it, Darko. :up: Nice post.

  21. edwardpiercy says:

    "Mutate" — :lol:Okay we'll make it the Opera Symphony Orchestra and Choir. πŸ˜€

  22. gdare says:

    Kyren, thanks :DEd, this is a great idea. He already has its own typewriter, you have a violin and me… errr… ok, I will think about that :left: πŸ˜›

  23. edwardpiercy says:

    That typewriter song is the first piece of classical music I ever heard, along with a bunch of other Leroy Anderson pieces. I think I was about 7 years old or so. I always liked it. BTW since I think the typewriter could be considered a percussion instrument, we'll have to get Martin to do the part when we form our Opera Symphony Orchestra. πŸ™‚

  24. gdare says:

    Actually I was singing in a choir πŸ˜› But they kicked me out when my voice started to mutate πŸ˜†

  25. gdare says:

    :yes:

  26. edwardpiercy says:

    Oh I bet you were in orchestra or band in school, yeah?Well if not, we'll get you going on some instrument or another. The cello would be your size. Contrabass you'd have to lean over too much. Maybe a viola. Or — how about a trombone?

  27. gdare says:

    Ok, "voice drops" then πŸ˜€

  28. gdare says:

    Well, I couldn`t find that word for when a boy`s voice start to change. We use word "mutation" to describe it πŸ˜›

  29. Furie says:

    We say the voice "drops", in reference to other biological drops a growing boy goes through. :up: Puberty is the condition, although mutation is a bit more accurate if I remember correctly.

  30. sanshan says:

    Mutate? πŸ™„

  31. Aqualion says:

    The typewriter is a percussional instrument. No doubt about that. The coolest thing with my old Olympia is that nobody else seems to be able to type on it, because it acquirers what percussionists usually refer to as a 'direct punch'. I went to this percussion seminar when I was at Secondary School where there was this machine that could measure one's 'hit value' while drumming. Normal people will be able to make a stick-hit with around 40 pounds pr square inch (psi), professional drummers usually have double that. My value was a steady 124 psi in all the tests. That is actually a lot of force. It equals a pressure of 62 kilograms per square centimeter.So, I can make any old mechanical typewriter, no matter how filthy and greasy it is, do the seven legged tango any old time by simple force.;)

  32. Dacotah says:

    Darko, yes I could. :DI could let Destiny pound on it. πŸ˜† πŸ˜€

  33. Stardancer says:

    :rip: Typewriter.I still look for those old manual typewriters when I go to flea markets or yard sales. Might come in handy someday.Good post, Darko.:smile:

  34. PainterWoman says:

    Originally posted by gdare:

    I remember having a pain in thumb and both point fingers

    Haha…If I tried to type with all the fingers like you're supposed to on my dad's typewriter, I'd start to get pains in all the fingers because I had to hit each key so hard. Often a bunch of the keys would get stuck because I'd try to go fast.

  35. Suntana says:

    Originally posted by gdare:

    Actually I was singing in a choir :p But they kicked me out when my voice started to mutate πŸ˜†

    As long as that voice mutation isn't accompanied by huge, fugly reptilian-like scales all over your body, you should be OK.

  36. gdare says:

    Carol, making noise might be so fun for her :DStar, this is what San and me were discussing yesterday, in case of some kind of disaster computers would be of no use :left:Martin, one of my frinds knew a members of local music band in Croatia and one day, during their practice he started to play drums. He knew how to follow the rhythm and use sticks but when a "real" drummer sat there a difference in power of hits and sounds was more than a drammatic. Then I realised how had it actually is :left:Pam, it happened to me sometimes, I would hit several buttons at once :doh:Carlos, no, no scales but I have a beautiful voice now. Especially when I sing in bathroom πŸ˜†

  37. Dacotah says:

    It sure would be. Destiny loves anything electronic. My camcorder, my camera, my computer. She deleted all my photos on my camera the other day. πŸ˜† She even takes her mom's cell phone and opens it up and types. :DI bought her a portable dvd player and she wants to do it herself. πŸ™‚

  38. BabyJay99 says:

    πŸ˜€

  39. raniakasim says:

    when i was working f translation office previously , i had tried an electric typewriter, well it was not so hard to dealt with it πŸ™„

  40. gdare says:

    Carol, let her play it :DRania, try mechanic one πŸ˜›

  41. Dacotah says:

    I just might. πŸ˜€

  42. qlue says:

    Well, time moves on and some machines just become so obsolete eventually that nothing can ensure their survival. :awww:.Is anyone using a typewriter to comment here? :whistle:.

  43. studio41 says:

    I miss the click, click, click… keyboards nowadays don't offer the tactile fulfillment of the typ"o"writer πŸ˜€

  44. sanshan says:

    I'd never have met Dare if he used a typewriter. πŸ™„

  45. H82typ says:

    Sometimes, y'all, I feel like I'm using one. A typewriter may have better connectivity than my phone does at this point – and I'm talking about a manual one! :insane: πŸ˜₯ great post, darko!

  46. PainterWoman says:

    Darko, this was similar to what my dad used and what I tried to type on:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:TypewriterHermes.jpgIt was a manual, not electric. Wish I still had it!

  47. Suntana says:

    Originally posted by qlue:

    Well, time moves on and some machines just become so obsolete eventually that nothing can ensure their survival. :awww: Is anyone using a typewriter to comment here? :whistle:

    Heyyy! My computer is NOT obsolete. It's just VERY experienced.

  48. gdare says:

    Sandy, baby, we would find a way :heart:

  49. gdare says:

    Aadil, you just gave me an idea. I could use typewriter to write comments, then scan it, upload here and then link to comment area πŸ’‘ On a second thought… :left:Jill, in a previous company where I worked we had excellent IBM keyboards that made that click-click sound. I liked them so much, not because of the sound but endurance and reliability :DDennis, I remember times when I was going on line with dial up connection. I wish I could forget those days :doh:Pam, this is one beautiful example of hardware design :up:Carlos πŸ˜†

  50. studio41 says:

    Originally posted by sanshan:

    I'd never have met Dare if he used a typewriter.

    Originally posted by gdare:

    Sandy, baby, we would find a way

    πŸ˜€

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