Rumors of the Typewriter’s Demise are Greatly Exaggerated

The news of the death of the typewriter has been circulating the last day or two because of a posting made in the Atlantic, which was repeating something from the Daily Mail. Then Brian Williams picked it up and ran with it on the NBC Nightly News. It’s just not true. The last typewriter factory has not closed. According to an article at the Technologizer website, Brother still sells six typewriter models, and other companies continue to make them. The following is an excerpt from Technologizer.

On yesterday night’s NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams reported the tragic news of the passing of a beloved international icon: the typewriter.

The factoid about the last typewriter factory closing struck me as surprising–even implausible. The typewriter may have been an endangered species for decades, but many, many businesses move really, really slowly. If there are still companies in America who use them–and I’ll bet even some big outfits have them on hand to address the occasional envelope–there are surely ones elsewhere in the world who aren’t ready to give them up.

So I went to OfficeDepot.com. It took only ten seconds to confirm that it will still cheerfully sell you a new Brother typewriter.

So why was Brian Williams eulogizing the things? He credited the Atlantic for the scoop. And indeed, its site did report that Indian manufacturer Godrej and Boyce had shuttered its Mumbai factory. But the Atlantic’s post referenced a Daily Mail story. And now the Atlantic says that the Daily Mail was wrong–and quotes somebody from a company called Swintec that’s still doing booming business in typewriters. (Among its models: transparent ones for use in prisons, which don’t want jailed typists hiding anything in there.)

Read the full Technologizer article – Rumors of the Typewriter’s Death: Greatly Exaggerated.

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