A typewriter is a mechanical or electromechanical machine for typing characters. Typically, a typewriter has an array of keys, and each one causes a different single character to be produced on paper by striking an inked ribbon selectively against the paper with a type element. At the end of the nineteenth century, the term 'typewriter' was also applied to a person who used such a device.[1]

Mechanical desktop typewriters, such as this Touchmaster Five, were long-time standards in government agencies, newsrooms, and offices
Video showing the operation of a typewriter
Disassembled parts of an Adler Favorit mechanical typewriter

The first commercial typewriters were introduced in 1874,[2] but did not become common in offices in the United States until after the mid-1880s.[3] The typewriter quickly became an indispensable tool for practically all writing other than personal handwritten correspondence. It was widely used by professional writers, in offices, business correspondence in private homes, and by students preparing written assignments.

Typewriters were a standard fixture in most offices up to the 1980s. Thereafter, they began to be largely supplanted by personal computers running word processing software. Nevertheless, typewriters remain common in some parts of the world. For example, typewriters are still used in many Indian cities and towns, especially in roadside and legal offices due to a lack of continuous, reliable electricity.[4]

The QWERTY keyboard layout, developed for typewriters in the 1870s, remains the de facto standard for computer keyboards. The origins of this layout remain in dispute.[5]

Notable typewriter manufacturers included E. Remington and Sons, IBM, Godrej,[6] Imperial Typewriter Company, Oliver Typewriter Company, Olivetti, Royal Typewriter Company, Smith Corona, Underwood Typewriter Company, Facit, Adler, and Olympia-Werke.[7]

An Elliott-Fisher book typewriter on display at the Historic Archive and Museum of Mining in Pachuca, Mexico

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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Typewriter, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.