Tuesday 26 April 2011
Source: The Telegraph.
An era of clattering keys and inky ribbons is coming to an end, as the world’s last mechanical typewriter manufacturer has revealed it has only 500 left in stock.
Godrej and Boyce of India, ceased production in 2009 and has now almost cleared its remaining inventory, according to the Business Standard. The firm’s typewriter business peaked at 50,000 per year as the Indian economy took off in the 1990s, but tailed off as computers quickly took over.
«From the early 2000 onwards, computers started dominating. All the manufacturers of office typewriters stopped production, except us», said general manager Milind Dukle. «Till 2009, we used to produce 10,000 to 12,000 machines a year», he added.
Godrej and Boyce, subsidary of Godrej Group, still sells a few of its remaining mechanical typewriters to defence agencies, courts and government offices in India, for around 250 US$ each, but the factory in Pune has since been converted to produce refrigerators for the burgeoning middle class.
Godrej and Boyce manufactured mechanical typewriters for around 60 years, but the first successful production typewriter was invented in 1867 and went into production in 1873. And although the mechanical typewriter appears to be dead, there are several manufacturers still making electronic versions. Swintec, of New Jersey, makes transparent models designed for use in prisons so inmates cannot hide contraband inside, for example.
Godrej Group is one of the largest conglomerates based in Bombay, involved in various industries that include appliances, precision equipment, machine tools, furniture, healthcare, interior solutions, office equipment, food-processing, security, materials handling and industrial storage solutions, construction and information technology. Its products include security Systems and Safes, Typewriters and Word processors, Rocket Launchers, Refrigerators and Furniture, Outsourcing Services, Machine Tools and Process Equipment, Cosmetics and Detergents, Engineering Workstations, Medical Diagnostics and Aerospace Equipment, Edible Oils and Chemical, Mosquito Repellents, Car perfumes, Chicken and Agri-products, Material Handling Equipments Like FORKLIFT Trucks, Stackers, Tyre handlers, Sweeping machines, access equipments etc. The Group is headed, Adi and Jamshid Godrej, from Parsi community.