Got typewriters?

Written by Paper. Posted in Drive

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Published on May 13, 2016 with No Comments

Where’s your typewriter? And no, it’s not your computer keyboard. We get that even the word ‘typewriter’ is only relevant to those of a certain age. So it was a bit of a surprise to learn that typewriters are still alive and kicking in India. This is especially interesting given that Indian immigrant engineers are credited with the rise of Silicon Valley. But even as India’s billion plus population embraces the computer, call centers, and other digital age developments, the typewriter is not obsolete there. Without a reliable power supply, the manual typewriter shines during blackout periods. And people in the typewriter business celebrate.

In India there are still typewriter repair people, typewriter ribbons, correction fluid and carbon paper. Don’t know much about carbon paper? You don’t want to. Well except that the term “Carbon Copy” probably was generated from it. Perhaps the biggest contributing factor to the manual typewriter’s endurance is India’s overwhelming bureaucracy which runs on the ability to generate forms in triplicate. Hence the aforementioned carbon paper. But in the end, nothing lasts forever. So we should probably say that in India the typewriter is alive and breathing whereas in America it’s not.

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