The first practical typewriter was developed by Christopher Latham Sholes. The final version of a prototype that he created featured a revolving cylindrical plate, a QWERTY key arrangement and an inked ribbon that made it more reliable and functional. James Densmore and Christopher Latham Sholes partnered to market the typewriter. Unfortunately, they were still unable to overcome debts and therefore sold the manufacturing to Remington Arms Company for $12,000 and kept the rights of the patent. The typewriter was an important piece of office equipment for the better part of a century because it revolutionized how people worked.
Role of typewriter in earlier days
The typewriter had many advantages when compared to the handwriting. Some of the notable roles of typewriters in earlier days included:
• It allowed for all documents that were produced using it to appear more presentable.
• It allowed for letters, records and reports to all have a consistent format. This meant that the type of text that was used did not matter.
• It allowed for documents to be more organized and clear on a page thus very legible to readers.
• The typewriter applied some standard pre-set dimensions on the page to guarantee there was enough spacing between sentences, around the text as well as among each letter. This is an important presentation modification that the typewriter introduced.
• The typewriter greatly enhanced professionalism in earlier days because of its perpetuation of document standards that made presentation more highly valued.
• Typewriters improved business communication due to an increase in documentation as well as record keeping for memos, invoices, contracts and several other billing needs.
• Typewriters improved communication management systems because it facilitated efficiency as well as the rate at which information sharing occurred. This is mainly because typing consumed far less time compared to handwriting thus faster communication of data.
• Typewriter is credited for establishing the role of the secretary that is still in existence to date.
Despite the fact that typewriters became more or less obsolete in the West, they were still fairly popular in India. Godrej Prima was the first company in the whole of Asia to manufacture their own manual typewriter called the Godrej Prima Typewriter. The Godrej Prima Typewriter was designed and carefully executed by Indian engineers. In fact, Godrej was the very last company in the globe to be manufacturing typewriters such as the Godrej Prima Typewriter. They shut down production in the year 2011 in Mumbai. Currently, the company just has a few hundred manual typewriters left in stock for those who are still interested in them.
The main reason for the shutdown was the drastic decline in demand over the last 10 years as a majority of consumers switched to computers. Computer domination started from the early years of 2000 onwards. This is to say that the computer has superseded the typewriter but the keyboard has stood the test of time and remained unchanged.
The typewriter was an important invention because it is from it that vital changes in communication that are still in existence today were ultimately born. Computers have since replaced the technology but it is still worth appreciating.