There is something so romantic about a typewriter. Thinking of the great authors like Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath typing away softly on a word processor and backspacing patiently as they delete unsatisfactory words and paragraphs somehow just doesn’t hold the same appeal as imagining them banging away furiously on the typewriter keys, hurling balled up pieces of paper across the room in a writer’s block-induced fury, or, better still, passionately hurling the entire thing into the sea, as Leonard Cohen is alleged to have done with his typewriter after writing the final words of his novel, “Beautiful Losers”.
From its humble beginnings back in 1873, the typewriter has recently enjoyed a resurgence in popularity. Today, owning a typewriter (even if you don’t actually use it) instantly makes one cool, especially amongst the hipster and street poet brigade.
Although word processors and personal computers have, today, taken the place of typewriters in most parts of the Western world, the typewriter still remains popular in many parts of the world, including America and India, where it is used in police stations and nursing homes.
Typewriters are not just for writing either. The carriage return bell was used to particular effect in 1973, when Pink Floyd used it as a percussion instrument during the recording of their song, “Money”.
So, move over laptops, i-pads, tablets and phablets! The lowly typewriter is here to stay!