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How Did the Typewriter Change Who Worked in Offices?

A typewriter was one of the best that ever happened to the communication world. It has redefined the swifter communication for a wide range of activities. This provides you access to a far more higher degree of performance in terms of communication through business, literature, and politics. In fact, it indeed represented a huge growth in terms of technology and organization. 


When Was the Typewriter Invented?


The concept of the writing machines emerged as early as the 14th century. There were over 112 different typing machines that were tested and tried. The Remington Typewriter was the first successful typewriter that made its appearance felt. The first patent for the typewriter was issued to an Englishman Henry Mill in 1714. 

The first American machine was patented in 1829. This was designed by William Burt of Detroit. However, the modern day typewriter came into being in 1868 by American inventor Christopher Latham Sholes. This machine came into being as successful as the Remington machine established the idea for the modern typewriter. 

The Sholes typewriter comprised of the old table, a circular piece of glass, a telegraph key, a piece of carbon paper, and piano wire. 

The first commercial typewriter was developed under the prodding from James Densmore. Under his guidance, Shoes developed improved versions of the typewriter. The first commercial typewriter came into the being with the mass manufacturing by E. Remington and Sons, of Ilion, New York. 

Things changed considerably during the 1950s and 1960s where the entire office environment began changing.


How Did the Typewriter Impact Society?


The early typewriters were crude when you compare them to the modern-day typewriters. By the time 1950s arrived, the office environment went through a huge change. All the office typewriter manufacturers began opting for the steel cases that hid the inner mechanism. 

Since most of the secretaries and typists were considered to be above the manual labors and carried an aura about themselves, it was quite essential to focus on the looks in addition to the functionality. Since the secretaries were above the manual labor, the typewriters were expected to look like machines, but it should give an impression that they look more respectable and less oppressive. 

Talking about the impact of the typewriters on the society and how did the typewriter change who worked in offices, a few of the pointers here should help you understand the concept in a better way:

  • Typewriter consistently reduced the time and efforts needed in preparing the documents. This also helps you encourage the performance of a systematic management of the documents. 
  • It also brought about the social changes when they were first introduced in the 1880s in many of the offices. The use of typewriters emphasized the role of women in an organizational setup. It also brought ahead an enhanced performance in a rapid growth of corporates. It also opened up a huge range of growth prospects for new jobs for women. 
  • It also changed the people’s lives to a considerable extent. The office work was a class up in a class structure at the time (or even now) and this opened up the avenue for the cleaner and higher paying job. 
  • It improved the concept of invention and innovation to a considerable extent. Hundreds of manufacturers began improvising on the new design so that creativity received a fuel for the improvement and innovation.

How Did the Typewriter Work?


The major working functionality of a typewriter involves the same technique as the printer’s Types, but the process is automated to some extent. Ideally speaking, the typewriter replaced the Printer’s Types consistently. 

A typewriter is a machine that helps you produce the characters on a paper through the use of steel types. These types produce the characters on the paper through an inked ribbon. The types are actuated with the help of the corresponding keys on a keyboard. The paper is held by a platen which moves along the carriage when you strike a key. 


How Did the Typewriter Affect Job Opportunities?


The launch and development of the typewriter essentially improved the job opportunities for women rather than the male counterparts. In essence, it was instrumental in improving the job opportunities for women in office. 

The typewriters were instrumental in opening up the gates of the factory for women and take up the office jobs. The associations such as Young Women’s Christian Association began offering typing courses for women by 1881. Even when working on a typewriter had a very little career advancement for women, it was in fact a positive step towards female economic empowerment. 


Keyboards – the Natural Progression of the Typewriters


While typewriters were the first step in the direction of an improved performance, and were instrumental in enhancing the women’s roles in the society, they have today been replaced by the computer keyboard. 

The first computer keyboards made their launch felt in 1964 with the Multics. The keyboards and VDTs or Video Display Terminals were launched together and let you see what you typed on the screen. In 1969, the DataPoint 3300 was launched by Computer Terminal Corporation. This was the first computer terminal that replaced the teleprinter. Come the 1970s and we began witnessing the keyboards that resemble what we see today. They were initially a heavy mechanical keyboards or converted electric typewriters. These keyboards were launched by the companies such as IBM. 

By the end of the 70s, the companies like Apple, Radio Shack, and Commodore began launching their own keyboards. In 1981, IBM launched IBM PC and a Model F keyboard. 

The concept moved ahead to produce the keyboards we found today. One of the best factors that came into the being was the mechanical switches that we have been witnessing today. We have also come to find the membrane keyboards as well which have become quite popular over the years. When you compare the membrane keyboards to the first wave of mechanical keyboards, you will find that the membrane keyboards are quieter, thinner, and lighter in construction. 


How Did Keyboards Overtake Typewriters?


The story of keyboards taking over the typewriters has been nothing less than that of the story in a science fiction. Ever since the personal computers and keyboards have become popular, the concept of the keyboards has indeed made the typewriter completely obsolete. 

After the initial mechanical keyboards, the membrane keyboard further made the concept all the more powerful. The recent growth of the laser keyboard and fully programmable keyboard have been a few of the great options we found rather impressive. It should really be mind-blowing to witness the evolution of the keyboards from the days of teletype machines and typewriters. 

Today, we see a huge range of excellent keyboards and a few of them out of this world keyboards such as laser keyboards, Flying saucer keyboards, and Jellyfish keyboards have been a few of the excellent options that should stand proof to explain the growth that the keyboard has been able to achieve. 

Keyboards today come in different shapes and sizes and they have indeed come a long way from their initial IBM days. They have definitely changed the way we have been using the devices for communication providing a swifter communication for a wide range of activities…. Like we made a beginning with the initial phase of this post. 

The Concluding Thoughts 

Well, the typewriter has indeed come a long way and has today been completely replaced by the keyboards. However, the kind of changes brought ahead by the typewriters has definitely been a game-changer and the modern day keyboards have been taking it forward. 

FAQs

Are Typewriters Still Made?

Yes, typewriters are still being made. They are still popular among the senior citizens. They can be used for typing routine letters, or even for creative writing purposes. Manufacturing of the typewriters has been dwindling since the 2000s with the domination of the computers. 

What was the main benefit that businesses got from the typewriter?

The typewriter was helpful in streamlining the documentation in a more positive manner. They were quite instrumental in creating documents rather efficiently and effectively. It was one of the first steps in terms of shaping a system of communication in the business world. 

How Did the Typewriter Changed Over Time?

Typewriters grew with the demand for the machines. They received huge advancements over the years and became more and more user-friendly. A few advancements include softer keystrokes, better angles, and multi-color ribbons for a colorful typing experience. The addition of the Shift key was a further game changer. 

About the author

Atish Ranjan

Atish Ranjan is a blogger who has been publishing on the web for more than a decade. He shares his knowledge and expertise in the form of Text and Video Content.

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