We were all feeling quite nostalgic about reports that the “last typewriter manufacturer in the world”, Godrej and Boyce, has shut down its factory in Mumbai, India. This would then meant the humble typewriter would likely go the way of the floppy disc. But it seems we were a little premature with the eulogies – the machinery is still in production, according to reports from Gawker.
Quotes Gawker: “The typewriter is “far from dead,” said Ed Michael, general manager of sales at New Jersey-based typewriter manufacturer Swintec. “We have manufacturers making typewriters for us in China, Japan, Indonesia. … We have contracts with correctional facilities in 43 states to supply clear typewriters for inmates so they can’t hide contraband inside them.”
While some countries, such as India, still use a fair few typewriters, there is also a significant nostalgia market for the retro gadget. If reports of demise one day were to be true, we would likely see a revival of the gadget – like we did with Polaroid.
The typewriter was first introduced in 1714 by Hentry Mill, before the device was entered into mass production in 1868 in the US. Sales peaked in the 1950s when Smith-Corona sold 12 million of the machines in the last quarter of 1953. By 2009, only 400,000 typewriters were sold annually.