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The Last of its Kind…

The title has been edited to remove the errant apostrophy. Was, “The Last of it’s Kind.” SAT

IBM Selectric Typewriter, circa 1968

When I was in high school, a junior I think, I took typing from Mrs. Sapenfield, one of my father’s colleagues when he’d taught there twelve years earlier. We used manual typewriters, though there were three IBM Selectrics in the back of the room, with a type ball that rotated and pivoted, lining up the letters, numbers and symbols being pressed. That was just too future.

Before I graduated from high school, I got a Royal portable typewriter with case for Christmas.  For a number of years, it was probably a quarter of the volume of my entire worldly possessions — and it was about that important. My handwriting has always been atrocious, so all of my turn-ins, from that point on, were typed.

For a number of months, I actually used this (left) 1912 Royal 5 (which I inherited from my grandfather) for printing labels. It was the novelty of an experience that I knew was fading.

..and perhaps it is an experience that has faded away, as Mashable blogger, Todd Wasserman, reported this morning that the last company to manufacture typewriters is shutting its doors in Mumbai, India. ((Wasserman, Todd. “RIP Typerwriters: Last Manufacturer Closes Its Doors.” Mashable. Mashable, Inc., 26 Apr 2011. Web. 26 Apr 2011. <http://mashable.com/2011/04/26/rip-typewriter/>.))

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. ((“The end of the line: Last typewriter factory left in the world closes its doors.” MailOnline 26 Apr 2011, Web. <http://goo.gl/Pn5Xv>.))

An update on the Mashable blog post indicates that according to Gawker, there are still manufacturers of typewriters in China, Japan and Indonesia.

I suppose that at some point, perhaps in my lifetime, we’ll read, somehow, that the last manufacturer of laptops or mobile phone devices has closed its doors because of the rapid adoption of …


  • Hugh McNally
  • http://www.beyondroom108.com Melanie

    This sure brought back memories. I loved that IBM Selectric machine. Our typing class had to rotate between the manual and electric machines and it was just such a good day when it was my turn to use the IBM.

  • http://www.beyondroom108.com Melanie

    Wow – what memories this post brings. I used to love when it was my turn on the Selectric in typing class. At my school we rotated between using the manual and electric typewriters. I thought that little rotating ball was just the most fascinating thing!

  • http://www.examfear.com gmat1984

    Very nice …
    Thanks for this …
    Visit http://www.examfear.com for Tons of educational materials… ONLINE TEST and many more.

  • Pingback: The Last of it’s Kind… | Semasajaya News Directory

  • http://www.elmerseward.wordpress.com Elmer Seward

    In education, some things change and some things stay the same- One Foot in the 19th Century (www.elmerseward.wordpress.com)

  • http://socsci.tau.ac.il/poli-LCE/ Josh Verienes

    That’s a piece of history. Unbelievable times, no computers, no word processors – how did people get along :)

  • http://www.springtexas.com/ Spring Texas

    The last time I used a typewriter was in 1982 – I cannot believe it has been that long – but do not miss it in the least!

Photo taken by Ewan McIntosh in a Taxi in Shanghai

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Cultivating Your Personal Learning Network
2nd Edition (2012)

Redefining Literacy 2.0 (2008)
Classroom Blogging
(2007) • Lulu
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Raw Materials for the Mind

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