Last Typewriter Factory Closes

After selling only 800 models last year – down from over 10,000 as recently as 02009 – the last typewriter factory in the world (according to The Daily Mail) has closed its doors and halted production. The factory was run by Godrej and Boyce and was based in Mumbai, India. The majority of the typewriters being produced in the last few years were for writers of Arabic in countries where modern PCs have yet to fully penetrate the market.

Despite the demise of industrial production, it seems likely the typewriter will live on. Kevin Kelly once said technologies are immortal and if the collector/maintainer culture that’s already going strong around typewriters is any indication, manually thwacking ink onto paper has a good run ahead of it yet:

  • For the real, restored thing there’s
  • Rarotype Inc. in Sunrise, Florida still manufactures printwheels for use in manual typewriters of many different brands.
  • Mr. T pities the early-adopting fool: “With a typewriter from you can rest assured that you have invested in a quality machine that has been fully tested and restored to once again provide many years of reliable service for today’s wordsmiths. “
  • You can live in a typewriter factory in Emerson, IL.
  • Check out these USB Typewriters for giving your iPad that vintage feel.
  • The Early Office Museum explores the history of typewriters.
  • IBM has an online timeline describing their contributions to typewriter technology.

(Sent in by Katie Malone – thanks!)

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

More from Digital Dark Age

What is the long now?

The Long Now Foundation is a nonprofit established in 01996 to foster long-term thinking. Our work encourages imagination at the timescale of civilization — the next and last 10,000 years — a timespan we call the long now.

Learn more

Join our newsletter for the latest in long-term thinking

Long Now's website is changing...