The last typewriter company in the world closed shop. I don’t use a typewriter often thanks to computers and haven’t used one in a year and a half, but this article still struck a chord with me. All the old technologies I grew up with are dying: floppy disks, VCRs, cassette tapes, tape decks, boom boxes, film cameras, and so many other old technologies are no longer a part of my life except for nostalgia value. That’s not including the things that have been all but removed from my life because of the Internet like encyclopedias, dictionaries, and copies of books that aren’t in the public domain. I showed my ten-year-old cousin a floppy disk last Christmas, and she had no idea what it was. Then I remembered that she wasn’t even a year old when 9/11 happened. Her generation is the real generation of high technology. Mine remembers the value of low technology and playing outside without looking at screens all the time.
I know some writers who still write on a typewriter; a group of them at NaNoWriMo is well-known for it. I wonder how they’re taking this news. Surely they baby their current typewriters, but there’s always the need to buy ribbons and the occasional replacement item. eBay and local markets are great for things like this, but now that typewriters are no longer being made, what will happen to the remaining typewriter devotees? Will I have to show a picture of a typewriter to my cousin and ask her if she knows what it is? She probably doesn’t; I should do that next time I see her–and throw in the record player to really freak her out.