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End of an era

The BBC reports that the last typewriter made in the UK has been produced at a factory in North Wales.  It was a Brother machine, and has gone to the Science Museum in London.  It is the end of a distinguished career for the instrument originally invented in the US in 1830, but which did not become popular until Remington began to mass produce them in the 1870s (adding them to the firearms range they also mass produced). They were credited with helping women to join the labour force in occupations other than domestic service.

The last one was an electronic model, but my own fond memory is that I used a manual one to write my PhD thesis at St Andrews.  The thing clattered away as I turned out the pages, and each evening I would bind what I had produced with a paperclip and add it to the growing pile of chapters under the table.  I ran through more than one ribbon, preferring the crisp appearance of a single use carbon ribbon as opposed to a cloth multi-use one.  Pounding on the keys one finger at a time, I almost certainly shortened the life of the machine, but it served me well and I remember it with affection.


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