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The last typewriter made in the U.K. has left the building

November 20, 2012|By Carolyn Kellogg
  • A vintage Brother typewriter. Brother has made its last typewriter in the U.K.
A vintage Brother typewriter. Brother has made its last typewriter in the… (MP Clemens / Flickr )

The last typewriter to be made in the U.K. has rolled off the production line -- and straight into London's Science Museum.

Brother has been making typewriters in the U.K. since 1985, the BBC reports, producing 5.9 million typewriters at its Wrexham factory. Since the advent of computers, demand has gone down. Way down.

The worker who produced the last typewriter had been at the job for two decades -- so long that he had once made one with his eyes closed.

The last typewriter will join 200 others in the Science Museum's collection. "This object represents the end of typewriter manufacture in the UK, a technology which has developed over the last 130 years and has been important to so many lives," said Rachel Boon, assistant curator of technologies and engineering. "This model will enable us to tell the story of how technology has evolved in accordance with our communication needs."

Brother will keep its British factory operational, doing other work there, including recycling printer cartridges. In the U.S., the company continues to sell typewriters

While computers can do pretty much everything a typewriter did and more, the BBC report highlights one thing typewriters had over these more sophisicated electronics: listen for the end-of-the-line ding. 


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