World's last typewriter factory to close...or is it?

The world's last typewriter factory, Godrej & Boyce, in Mumbai is closing its doors for good, according to reports from the Daily Mail, the CBC, PC World and USA Today.

Largely obsolete in the West for some time, typewriters enjoyed popularity in India in the 1990s, with the company producing 50,000 a year, which India's Business Standard reported was a third of India's total output.

The country stopped producing typewriters in 2009, and now its supply consists of 500 machines, most of which are Arabic language machines.  No more are to be produced, the Business Standard said.

But Swintec, a company based in New Jersey, said these claims of the death of typewriters are untrue, and that manufacturers are producing machines for it in China, Japan and Indonesia, the National Post reported.

And one of the most robust typewriter markets for Swintec was prisons, said general manager of sales, Ed Michael.

“We have contracts with correctional facilities in 43 states to supply clear typewriters for inmates so they can’t hide contraband inside them,” Mr Michael said in an interview in January.

The typewriter suffered a decline in popularity with the growing prevalence of computers, but the machines are often seen as retro or collector's items, with Oscar winning actor Tom Hanks collecting more than a hundred typewriters.


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