Britain's last typewriter comes off the production line

20 November 2012

Britain's last typewriter came off the production line in North Wales today - marking the end of a technology that first appeared in the 1870s.

The 'last' typewriter was made by manufacturer Brother, in a factory in Wrexham which has produced 5.9 million machines since it opened in 1985.

The machine has been donated to the Science Museum - joining a collection of 200 historic typewriters.

Demand for typewriters has dropped so far in Britain that the machines are no longer commercially viable - although their legacy lives on in the QWERTY keyboard on PCs, designed to prevent jams on early physical typewriters.

Typewriters were once synonymous with office life, and a staple of newsrooms, offices and businesses but have been replaced by PCs.

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Manufacturer Brother says there is still demand for its simple electronic typewriter machines in other territories such as the U.S.

Brother's deputy Managing Director Phil Jones said the machines still held "a special place in the hearts" of the British public.



"Because of this, and the typewriter's importance in the history of business communication, we felt that giving it a home at the Science Museum would be a fitting tribute," says Jones.

Rachel Boon, assistant curator at the Science Museum said that the typewriter would add to a "rich collection" of over 200 machines.

"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," she said.

"This model will enable us to tell the story of how technology has evolved in accordance with our communication needs."

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