Like me, many others of my generation has never used once, although I did get to type a few keys once when I was a kid. Typewriter were already in the decline when I was growing up, replaced by computers and dot-matrix printers. Within the next few years they will be gone for good as the last typewriter factory left in the world – Godrej and Boyce – has shut down its production plant in Mumbai, India with just a few hundred machines left in stock.
Image credit: Flickr
Although typewriters became obsolete years ago in the west, they were still common in India until recently. But demand for the machines has sunk in the last ten years as consumers switch to computers. The company’s general manager, Milind Dukle, told India’s Business Standard newspaper that they were not getting many orders now.
“From the early 2000s onwards, computers started dominating. All the manufacturers of office typewriters stopped production, except us. Till 2009, we used to produce 10,000 to 12,000 machines a year. But this might be the last chance for typewriter lovers. Now, our primary market is among the defence agencies, courts and government offices”, said Dukle.
The company is now down to its last 200 machines – the majority of which are Arabic language models.
The firm began production in the 1950s – when Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru described the typewriter as a symbol of India’s emerging independence and industrialisation. It was still selling 50,000 models annually in the early 1990s, but last year it sold less than 800 machines.
[via Daily Mail]