An Ode to the Typewriter
The typewriter was a staple of offices throughout the world in decades past, however; with the digital age in full swing, they are now found on display in a museum rather than as any sort of office necessity.
The last manufacturer of brand new Typewriters, Godrej and Boyce, shut down their production plant in India in April, 2011 and the final typewriter produced in Britain is now on display at London’s Science Museum. So, what does this tell us about the way the rest of the world is when it comes to the files and machinery we use to get us by in the office?
As cumbersome as they may now seem, typewriters were considered portable at the time, but then again so were a lot of things that we would laugh at now. Here at Pearl Scan, we are in the business of providing portable options for people with lots of documents, so you could argue that it’s strange that we mourn the loss of the typewriter, but it’s actually quite the opposite. As a document scanning company we get a lot of documents coming through which have been typed on typewriters and sometimes we just stop and take a good look at them. There are times when you can’t help but think that there is something quite soulless about the written word now being computerized, and the typewriter was the first step in that very direction, but still had a vague resemblance to the art of writing by hand.
If we think about the advances in technology since the times of the typewriter, we can’t help but be amazed, even impressed. These days we can fire up Microsoft Word whenever we like to type out a quick note. If we make spelling or grammatical errors, they can be corrected at the click of button or two, or the word will be corrected automatically for you. This is of wonderful convenience and efficiency, but there’s something almost whimsical about looking across a piece of paper typed out by a typewriter where mistakes have been made and they have clearly been corrected by the ‘eraser’ key on the typewriter. At the time, even this key was a miracle in itself. We should also keep in mind the reduced need for Tipex. Remember that? The little bottle of white fluid that never matched the white of your piece of paper.
While we can feel nostalgic about the past we cannot mope, we must embrace the revolutionary changes in technology. The fact is everything that came with the typewriter, the ink and the paper, which continue to rear their head today with computer printing and faxing, will become as obsolete as the typewriter, we just don’t want to admit it yet.
I’ve talked and talked about the paperless office and the effects that it can have for your company, but they really are significant. In its day, the typewriter was the next, up and coming thing in the production of letters, files and documents so we must now appreciate the up and coming ideas of the 21st century.
Here comes the bold statement so prepare yourself…
Paper and ink are no longer necessities. There it is. It’s been said. For both efficiency and environmental reasons, paper and ink are the next big thing that need to change in the world. We can survive without them, it’s just that those that know don’t want to admit it and those that don’t, well, don’t. The early transition from handwriting to typewriter must have been something that was quite a challenge. I don’t believe any of our ancestors ever used ones in their jobs as minors, electricians and housewives. Those that did would not have found it easy to go from the smooth process of writing to tapping on a harsh, metal backdrop with even harder keys.
Swapping over to an electronic document management system doesn’t need to be this hard as we now live in a world where things are a lot simpler. The irony is that our document management system, Halogen, is as simplistic as an original typewriter in essence; there’s a few buttons to press and you’re done, only without the difficult transition.
The typewriter will always hold a special place within the hearts of many. The sheer romanticism involved with everything about them from the rough and often incomplete letters they would press onto the page to the clicking sound, as equally annoying as it was loved, which could only be coming from a typewriter. Incidentally, in August this year, The Times brought back the typewriter to their newsrooms. Before you go looking for a change in typing on your newspaper, this isn’t quite as it seems. The Times newsroom have erected a speaker in the journalists’ offices which projects the afore mentioned sound of an old typewriter. This scheme has been set out in the hope that it will “increase energy levels and help reporters to hit deadlines.” Well, if the sound boosts morale as much as it creates nostalgia then they’re onto a winner.
The typewriter will never be forgotten for what it was and will always stay in the hearts of the lovers, the poets and the writers of the world who cherished and used them for so long. This isn’t the end for them, especially for those with retro style, but it’s certainly a sign that the world of the office and the way we work with paper and ink is changing faster than we ever imagined.
To move forward in the digital age, why not get your documents scanned and implement a digital document management system? You could benefit from cost savings, time savings and space savings among other great advantages. For more information on the scanning services we offer here at Pearl Scan scanning company London, Manchester and Birmingham, get in touch today and speak to a member of our friendly and experienced team. Alternatively, you can request a free, no obligation, quote by following the relevant links below.