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Uses of a Typewriter

Typewriters were invented in the 19th century.
antique typewriter image by Gonçalo Carreira from Fotolia.com

The typewriter was invented in 1869 by Christopher Sholes, Carlos Glidden and Samuel Soule, with its electric counterpart introduced in 1872 by Thomas Alva Edison. The machine allowed people to bring the printing press into their own homes. When typewriters entered mass production, they replaced simple pen and paper in many offices, homes and schools.

Short Jobs

The typewriter has been replaced by computers with word processing software. However, some people still keep typewriters at home for short, quick jobs such as printing envelopes or labels. Typewriters print as the user types, unlike computers which must be connected to a printer and only prints the project once it is completed. Thus, it is often more convenient to use typewriters for small projects.


Some authors continue to use typewriters to transcribe their thoughts. Kevin McGowin, fiction writer and literature instructor, notes that the aesthetic of typewriters meshes well with the creative process of writing a novel or letter. The clacking of the keys, though disturbing to some, helps him get into a rhythm of creation.

Collector's Item

With the invention of computers and word processing, typewriters are now obsolete, according to the Smithsonian Institution. However, antique collectors appreciate typewriters, either for display or occasional use. According to the World Collectors Net website, in an era of complicated technology, some people have developed a newfound appreciation for antique machines.

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