Typewriter of the moment: Godrej & Boyce, the last manual ever made


Can this be correct?

The Daily Mail in London reports that the last manufacturer of manual typewriters in the world, Godrej & Boyce of India, is shutting down production.

Is this the last manual typewriter ever to be made?

Godrej and Boyce, Prima, the last manual typewriter manufactured in the world

The Prima, from Godrej & Boyce; in India, the last company making manual typewriters is closing down

According to the Daily Mail:

It’s an invention that revolutionised the way we work, becoming an essential piece of office equipment for the best part of a century.

But after years of sterling service, that bane for secretaries has reached the end of the line.

Godrej and Boyce – the last company left in the world that was still manufacturing typewriters – has shut down its production plant in Mumbai, India with just a few hundred machines left in stock.

Although typewriters became obsolete years ago in the west, they were still common in India  – until recently.  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: ‘We are 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.’

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.

The first commercial typewriter was produced in the U.S. in 1867 and by the turn of the century had developed into the  standardised format – including a qwerty’ keyboard – that we know today.

Say it ain’t so, Mr. Christopher Latham Sholes!

Godrej & Boyce manufactures several different technology products in its conglomerate of factories — but the typewriter is already gone from their website’s listing of company products.

Electric typewriters will continue to roll off of foreign assembly lines, for companies like Swintec and Brother.

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4 Responses to Typewriter of the moment: Godrej & Boyce, the last manual ever made

  1. Thom Fehring says:

    While Godrej and Boyce did cease production in 2011, several other manufacturers continue to turn out manual typewriters. Huffington Post published an update/retraction of an earlier article at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/26/worlds-last-typewriter-factory-closes_n_853670.html

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  2. Can’t imagine how many trees lost their lives as writers struggling to overcome blocks ripped out page after page with only a partial first sentence on each. The worst was reaching the bottom of a page only to realize footnotes would not fit. Typewriters were so unforgiving of typos, let alone edits. Although nostalgic, I miss old manuals and early electrics about as much as I miss the early Gestetner on which I had to crank out media releases when I first started working in the nonprofit world. Then again, there was a certain high attained from inhaling those Gestetner ink fumes….

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  3. Wow….just give me a good old yellow legal pad and pen for drafting and I’ll be ever so happy! :)

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  4. Girly says:

    This is one of those instances where you don’t realize how much you miss something until it’s gone.

    Like

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