Not so long ago, it was impossible to imagine any organization without a typewriter. Moreover, it was not at all difficult to find her whereabouts, during work she made such a roar that it was only slightly inferior to a machine gun. Now, in the age of computers, typewriters are irrevocably a thing of the past. And many interesting stories are connected with them.
The "father" of the typewriter is called the English inventor Henry Mill, who developed a similar device at the very beginning of the 18th century - in 1714. But no detailed information about his invention, and, moreover, its application in practice, has survived. Most likely, the machine was made in a single copy and was not launched into mass production.
Christopher Scholes, who received a patent for an invention in 1868, turned out to be much more agile. The car with the name "Remington No. 1" was the first to be mass-produced. At the same time, the keyboard on the first copies was similar to the keys of musical instruments. Scholes worked on improving the typewriter for another decade. The name of the brand of typewriters became so popular that even typists were often called "Remingtonists".
The first samples were not cheap at that time - $ 125. Therefore, not everyone could buy them. And many writers have been very unflattering about the mechanism that Christopher Scholes designed. But Mark Twain had a completely different opinion. And even claimed that his "Tom Sawyer" was the first literary work to be typed on a typewriter. The writer believed so much in the prospects of using typewriters that he even invested a large sum in their production. True, the investment was unsuccessful, and brought Twain a loss, not a profit.
Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy was one of the first Russian writers to appreciate the merit of a new invention. Already at the beginning of the twentieth century "Remington" appeared in his office in Yasnaya Polyana.
Russian engineer Mikhail Alisov was also involved in the development of his own model. His typewriter was so successful that it received several awards at international exhibitions in the seventies of the nineteenth century. True, potential buyers were embarrassed by the high price, therefore, the Alisov machine did not receive mass use. Russia bought cars abroad, and its own production in our country was established only in 1928 in Kazan. Overseas products had to redo the keyboard.
The women claimed that many of them, freed from kitchen slavery, became slaves of typewriters, because this work, in the overwhelming majority, was performed by women. Typing required strong fingers. In Russia, in 1911, they even conducted a study - how much energy is required for such work? The conclusion was that the energy consumption for printing a text of 8, 000 characters on "Remington" is equivalent to moving 85 poods of cargo.
In 1935, the first electric typewriters named "Electromatic" went on sale in the United States. Later, their production was established in the Soviet Union. Thanks to this, the work on the typewriter has become easier, respectively, the typing speed has increased. By the way, a unique achievement is registered in the Guinness Book of Records - 103 characters in 46 seconds. The result, of course, can bring a smile, but the record holder used not his fingers, but his nose.
An equally curious record was set by Australian Les Stewart. For sixteen years he printed "from one to a million." Moreover, not in numbers, but in words, which is much more complicated. He worked for about two hours a day, typing with only one finger. And the whole text took him 19, 990 sheets.
Until recently, the American writer and playwright Cormac McCarthy used only an old typewriter, not a computer. He printed more than a dozen of his works on it. And then he profitably sold his "antiques" for an impressive amount of $ 254, 000.
It is not difficult to correct a mistake in the text on a computer. But on a typewriter, it was much more difficult to do. The error had to be cleaned up with a blade or covered with special whitewash. Or even reprint the entire page.
Does at least one enterprise in the world now produce typewriters? Products in our time, I must say, are not in demand. In 2011, the media reported that an enterprise in the Indian city of Mumbai had stopped their production. Moreover, this plant was hastened to be called "the last of the Mohicans" in this area. The information was not entirely correct. A year later, Brother released the last typewriter in the UK. Moreover, it did not go on sale, but was donated to the Science Museum in London.