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 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 stopped making typewriters in Britain because demand had
fallen so much in the country, but it still sells Asian-made machines to
the US market.
From as early as 1714, inventors were tinkering about with various
"writing machines" and patenting their efforts, but none of the early
inventions got much interest. It wasn't until Remington, then a
manufacturer of sewing machines, signed an agreement with a patent
holder in the 1870s that the Sholes and Glidden Type-writer was born,
coining the name and the QWERTY layout that would prove so popular.
Brother started manufacturing portable typewriters in the 1960s and produced its first electronic typewriters in 1985.