Last typewriters for sale? Not so fast, U.S. firm says
The typewriter, once a mainstay in business offices, was a tech innovation in its day. And it didn't track your whereabouts.
April 26th, 2011
02:26 PM ET

Last typewriters for sale? Not so fast, U.S. firm says

The Internet was humming Tuesday with a report that the world’s last typewriter manufacturer is closing shop and has 500 machines left, according to the Business Standard of India.

“We stopped production in 2009 and were the last company in the world to manufacture office typewriters,” said Milind Dukle, general manager-operations of Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Co., according to the Business Standard. “The machines are of Godrej Prima, the last typewriter brand from our company. ...”

But Edward Michael, sales general manager at Swintec, a New Jersey-based typewriter company, said not so fast. He said when he read the report on the typewriters' demise, he initially thought it was a typo.

"We are a typewriter company, and we are alive and doing very well," Michael said in a telephone interview Tuesday with CNN.

Before the Internet age, the typewriter ruled. But when the seeds of the tech boom started to germinate, the typewriters' use as a business communication tool quickly faded.

Michael said he couldn't recall exact sales figures but his company, which started in 1978, sold "in the thousands" to private dealers, prisons and government offices.

Michael said if you want the latest in business communication, sans the Internet, there's an "app" for that.

“Some (typewriters) have memory, some don’t," he said. "Even spell check. You can save the document in the machine’s memory, call it up at a later time. It doesn’t go on the Internet, but it saves inside the typewriter itself.  It has a ribbon, it has a print wheel. You can change the character style (50 variations) by changing the wheels. There’s many applications that are easier than a computer."

Michael said many government agencies actually prefer the typewriter for official documents. He cited marriage licenses and birth and death certificates.

We think there's more electric and manual typewriter manufacturers out there. Know of any?

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Filed under: India • Technology
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Andreas Moser

    Print will remain king because it's the only format that is easy to read and doesn't lose its value with the next update:

    April 26, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jay

    And CNN is still selling this crap on air. What happened to researched reporting instead of media parrots mimicrying what they read on a wire. This is the sadness that is MSM. Oh and since they might have missed it, Brother International still maes typewriters. Hopefully and editor decides to "check" this story after the fact.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave in MD

      Oh you need a hug? People who respond as you have "and CNN is still selling this crap on air." , just seem
      so bitter for little reason. Personaly I'm not going to let "the crap" that CNN or anyone else spews ruin my day or make
      me point out their short-comings. Find a nice girl (I assume that would be your choice (?) ) and get a nice big loving teddy bear hug.

      April 26, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Jay, anyone using the term "MSM" on a forum loses all credibility right off the bat

      May 9, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Canadian Genius

    I'm pretty sure there are also several companies still making pencils.

    April 26, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Luiz

    It seems those are electronic typewriters. The indian man was talking about the good ole manual mechanical typewriters...

    April 26, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banasy

    You're right, Luiz. They *are* talking about manual typewriters. Although why anyone would want one is beyond me!

    Oh, my, this *is* front page news! I'm so glad I came here today! A gain for manual typewriterphobes everywhere! Those varmints!

    @Canadian Genius: *snicker*

    April 26, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cjong

    Does anyone remember how to write?

    April 26, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JP

    Nice piece of free advertising for Swintec, thanks to your lazy fact checking.

    The original piece was about MANUAL typewriters. Swintec only make ELECTRONIC typewriters.

    Quite a difference. Did the photo not make it obvious enough?

    I'm sure they knew that too, but why pass up some free publicity?

    Let's see you find a company that still makes the old-fashioned manual ones...

    April 26, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy

    I don't know about you, but the picture I saw sure as hell didn't look like an electric one to me....unless it was the very first one ever made. It sure looked like an old manual one to me!

    April 26, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ron Coble

    I will probably keep my electronic typewriter until I go out of business or die. There are still some tax forms that have to be filed on paper each year and the forms are only available from the tax authorities so I find having the electronic typewriter to be a continued required piece of equipment.

    July 16, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Robert

    Olivetti and Royal still make manual typewriters. For example, the Olivetti Typewriter Manual Linea 98 is a high-end manual.

    October 17, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |