The typewriter. It's one of those things that can easily evoke a sense of nostalgia. With high-tech gadgets and gizmos here and there, not a lot of people use typewriters these days. But there was a period not long ago when typewriters were the hottest trend. It’s a good thing that there are still some people and companies that opt to use a typewriter instead of a fancy computer to do their work.
Did you know that:
- There are five classifications of typewriters: standard, portable, electric, electric portable, and electronic. The standard typewriter is stationary because it weighs a lot (about 15 to 25 lbs.), but it can also hold larger kinds of paper. The portable typewriter is more compact than the standard unit. It was designed for easy movement and storage. The electric typewriter is heavier than the standard unit due to its motors and electrical parts but are more user-friendly. The electric portable typewriter is smaller and lighter than the electric unit and other desktop machines. It also has a case and a power cord. The electronic typewriter is the lightest in weight and is closely related to laptops.
- It was believed that the first typewriter ever invented was by Henry Mill in 1714. Historians also noted that Mill received a patent for his invention. Other early models of typewriters were designed by Pelligrino Turri in 1808 – who happened to invent carbon paper as well – and William Austin Burt in 1892. Carlos Glidden and Christopher Lathom Sholes were granted a patent for their typewriter design in 1868. Sholes initially developed the typewriter to print page numbers for books. Glidden suggested doing a design to type letters instead. Their invention was the first commercially successful typewriter.
- Glidden and Sholes designed the English QWERTY keyboard layout seen on typewriters, also commonly referred to as the Universal keyboard or the Sholes in 1874. They separated the most common used letters to lessen the chance of finger jamming due to fast typing.
- The word “skepticism” is the longest you can type on a typewriter where your fingers alternate hitting the keys of every letter. “Perpetuity,” “typewriter,” “proprietor” and “repertoire” are the longest words you can type using the typewriter’s top row of letters.
- Computers and word processors replaced most typewriters since the late ‘80s. However, they are still omnipresent in developing countries and in prisons where computers are not allowed.
Here are some typewriter photos that may strike a chord with you.