Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Death of the Typewriter

Only several hundred new typewriters--most in the Arabic language--sit idly at the last typewriter factory in the world located in Mumbai, India. The plant recently announced its impending closure.
Perhaps the last standing typewriter user in the U.S. was my father. He loved to comment on what the computer **could not** do and gave me his typewriter when he retired from his law practice in 2004 after a 35-year run with the typewriter. If he was alive today, I would sadly have to tell him that one can now fill out forms on the computer--one of his last holdouts of why typewriters were still necessary.
The summer after Dad died I had my first garage sale. The purpose was to both thin out stuff and to have the ability to give a nice donation to the David B. Rogers Lecture Series (now the Rogers Family Lecture Series). I made $3,000!
My mom said I would regret selling so much stuff. She’s right but it took five years to realize the error of my ways.
At the big sale, I sold the typewriter from Dad’s office for $1. When I heard the news from Mumbai I immediately thought of the last typewriter. It, of course, would look dashing next to my old turntable and rotary phone, both of which work beautifully. I’m positive this typewriter--like my rotary dial and old turntable--would outlast the inventions that made them obsolete.

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