I remember in high school, college and law school, slowly typing papers - or more frequently, I remember my wonderful sister typing papers for me! The IBM Correcting Selectric which lifted the error off the page was wonderful but much too expensive to buy.I remember using one at my dad's office and one while dog sitting.I remember my sister typing a paper for me that needed to be 5 pages.
Looking on e Bay and reading books also reveals that some rare typewriters can sell for thousands of dollars.Read on if you wish to read about my experience with computers making typewriters largely obsolete or go directly to viewing the specific typewriters. Intro | Adler | Blickensderfer | Brother | Caligraph | Canon | Corona | Gourland | Hammond | Hermes | IBM | Oliver | Olivetti | Olympia | Optima | Remington | Rover | Royal | Silver Reed | Singer | Smith Corona | Smith Premier | Triumph | Underwood | Xerox Typewriters are one of the longest lasting technologies in modern time.The key pattern was designed for relative speed, but also to prevent keys from jamming.Bars with frequently used letter pairs are widely separated to prevent jams. All of the typewriters on this page are owned by me, but are only on public display virtually through this Web site.
The typewriter collection contains over 125 typewrites from 23 manufacturers spanning the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, from at least ten countries (United States, Japan, China, East Germany, West Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, England and the Nethelands).
The typewriters are arranged alphbetically by brand. The basic front stroke typebar typewriter with the QWERTY keyboard was in place by the 1890s.
(See A Brief History of Typewriters.) A typebar is the slender bar with the letter on the end.
The reason, of course, is that the functions of a typewriter have been largely superceded by computers and printers.
Word processing was one of the first big uses for the personal computer and remains so today. You can change, move and delete things as much as you like. People in their 20s, or even 30s, and younger today may not realize how significant the switch from typewriters to computer was.
People also still use typewriters today especially to fill in pre-printed forms or to type a quick envelope or label.