As we noted yesterday, The Daily Mail caught a lot of people's attention on Monday by noting that Godrej and Boyce, which it described as the only company in the world still manufacturing mechanical typewriters, was shuttering its production plant in India. The news evoked nostalgia ("The moment I entered the classroom, I was welcomed by the monotonous sound of the hitting on the keyboard"), cries of good riddance (Atlantic Wire commenter R. G. Price asked why we called the news "sad"), and conflicted emotions ("I have a bit of a soft spot for the clickity-clack of the manual typewriter ... I must admit however that I haven't dusted it off in decades, so I guess its time has come.").
But Minyanville's Justin Rohrlich thinks these typewriter eulogies are premature. Ed Michael at New Jersey-based Swintec tells Rohrlich that Swintec-owned factories in China, Japan, and Indonesia are still manufacturing typewriters for the company. Rohrlich explains that Swintec sells many typewriters to prisons--often clear typewriters to prevent inmates from stowing away contraband. But Rohrlich also admits that even this market is increasingly threatened as prisons begin to embrace email.
There's also an argument, of course, that we're late to the party, not early. The Business Standard article that The Daily Mail based its report on notes that Godrej and Boyce stopped typewriter production in 2009, and focuses instead on the fact that there are now only 500 Godrej machines left for sale.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.