Tuesday July 17, 2018
Home Science & Technology Typewriters h...

Typewriters have been replaced by high tech printers


April 23, 2017: Are you familiar with the rhythmic tap sound produced by the typewriter? Isn’t it beautiful? I think the whole concept of a typewriter is magical. What I am trying to say is that, when words are typed on the machine, it produces a smooth, rhythmic sound. And that’s not the only beautiful output. Whatever one types, it is instantly breathed onto the paper and that I think, is the most fascinating and content feeling for any writer. But, by the end of the 1980s, the majestic typewriters became the middle child of the writing family, as the newborn technologies of computers and printers grabbed everyone’s attention. The onset of the computer era still was not a complete threat to the typewriters.

Go to NewsGram and check out news related to political current issues

But with the invention of printers, the typewriters suffered a huge setback. What were the reasons to accept the hi-tech printers and let go of the typewriters? Were the typewriters actually a better option than the new technologies? No, and yes. Just like there are two sides to a coin, there are two differing opinions for this too. David Mitchell, a British comedian-writer quote that, “For most digital-age writers, writing is rewriting. We grope, cut, block, paste, and twitch, panning for gold onscreen by deleting bucket loads of crap. Our analogue ancestors had to polish every line mentally before hammering it out mechanically. Rewrites cost them months, meters of the ink ribbon, and pints of Tippex. Poor sods.” What Mitchell says is true. People using typewriters did not have the privilege of the now not very highly acclaimed of, the backspace button.

Go to NewsGram and check out news related to political current issues


They had to filter a word or sentence hundred times before typing it out or else one wrong word or letter could cost them a whole sheet. Typewriters were therefore very vexatious. They also involved many resources which cost a lot. Ink ribbons, papers etc cost the writers a lot who did not have a surplus income. Rewriting or retyping also took a lot of time which delayed the production of work which is not the case with the new hi-tech technologies. Working with the new technologies is a hundred times easier than working with typewriters. You can have second thoughts about your writing and you can easily rewrite it by simply going on the saved draft on your desktop. Printers are very efficient. They can easily be connected to any digital device and you will get your prints. The printers are easy to maintain too. But are the hi-tech printers better than the typewriters on all fronts? James M. Cain, an American author and Journalist quotes that, “The academics don’t know that the only thing you can do for someone who wants to write is to buy him a typewriter.” Maybe what Cain is saying, is right on some notes.

Go to NewsGram and check out news related to political current issues

If a writer uses a typewriter, he would become more confident of what he thinks and writes. There wouldn’t be any fear of the work getting deleted by any software related issue. Whatever would be there, it would be in front of one’s eye without any digital barrier blocking the view. Also, as mentioned before, typewriters provide one with an instant piece of their work. So, the other side of the coin shines too. The technological takeover does not define one’s work though, especially writers’. It just shows that we are ready and welcome to all the changes.

– by Staff Writer of NewsGram 

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 NewsGram

Next Story

Bakelite: The Revolutionary Invention of Leo Baekeland

Today marks the 108th anniversary of the day when bakelite was first patented.

leo baekeland
Leo Hendrik Baekeland (1863- 1944)

Bakelite! Ah, the pioneering invention that defined the modern plastic industry. The plastic which had once been the primary substance of manufactured everyday items which now line up the boastful shelves of antiquity collectors: chokers, lockets, fine jewelleries and watches, furniture and radios…

This is in remembrance of the pioneer of modern plastic- bakelite- and of the man behind this revolutionary invention.

In what would probably have been his late forties, Leo Hendrik Baekeland had a goal in his mind: to find a replacement for shellac. Made from the shells of Asian female lac beatles, shellac had its uses as a colourant, food glaze and wood finish. Chemists had already identified natural resins like shellac as polymers and had started experiments to form synthetic polymers. Encouraged by these advances, Baekeland began his own experiments by first combining phenol and formaldehyde to create a soluble shellac. He called it “Novolak”. Unfortunately, this first phenol- formaldehyde combination fluttered away without a trace, never finding popularity. However, it did leave Baekeland with valuable experience.

It was the second attempt that set the boulder rolling! This time Baekeland chose precision. Initiating a controlled reaction between phenol and formaldehyde, the Belgian chemist found himself witnessing the birth of the plastic he had so long waited for.

About a hundred- and eight years ago on this very day, Leo Hendrik Baekeland patented the first thermosetting plastic- bakelite!

invention of bakelite
The Bakelizer was a steam pressure vessel used to produce commercial quantities of Bakelite since 1909. Photo from Chemical Heritage Foundation in wikimedia commons.

The Belgian’s invention was an instant success. Bakelite took the plastic industries of the world by storm, finding its use in more than a thousand of items and accessories. From jewellery and fashion equipments including the choker, bakelite earrings and lockets to kitchenware like bakelite handles, knobs and utensils, the revolutionary new plastic went on to find crucial uses in the radio and automobile industries, which during that age were undergoing rapid growth.

Picture of a bakelite radio at the Bakelite Museum, Somerset, UK. Photo from wikimedia commons

However, the fame that bakelite had earned was not destined to last long. With the synthesis of new plastic formulas after the end of the Second World War, the demand for bakelite began to diminish. New plastics like ABS and Lexan began surfacing across the industrial world to overthrow the reign of Leo Baekeland’s groundbreaking invention.

A little over a hundred years on though, bakelite still shines on! Besides being a collector’s item in the modern world, it still exists in brotherhood with the likes of aluminium and steel to fill catalogues and portals that sell quality kitchenware to the masses. Clearly, it never left. It was an invention which had been wrought out by Baekeland; a pioneer which was here to stay.


– Twitter Handle: @QuillnQuire