Rattle and roll: why the typewriter will never die

Creative Commons: Rahego's Photostream

Joining the list of vinyl records and polaroid cameras, mechanical typewriters are on their way to becoming extinct. Or are they? As the ‘world’s last manufacturer’ Mumbai-based Godrej & Boyce announced that it had only 500 pieces left, with no plans of making more, some lamented the death of a romantic era, others scoffed that the end was not in sight, yet.

In The Guardian, Jonathan Glancey says the enchantment of typewriters will endure.

“It was a dark and stormy night.” The image of Snoopy sitting on top of his kennel rattling out the opening of his latest bestseller on a typewriter is as familiar as it is cherished. It is also a delightful send-up of the archetypal would-be author at work.

Endearing, yes, but dated. Today, we learn that possibly the world’s very last typewriter factory – in Mumbai – has closed. Although its typewriting business has been just one small portion of the Godrej & Boyce manufacturing empire, founded in 1897 by the lawyer and inventor Ardeshir Godrej, a spokesman has told the global media that “currently the company has just 500 machines left”. Hurry while stocks last, as the imposing Prima model dating from the 1950s, now selling for about £160, is sure to become a sought-after classic of pre-digital design. more

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