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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Another sign I’m getting old


I pulled up the USATODAY app my iPad this morning, only to find a story about the last typewriter factory selling off their last batch of 500 typewriters. These days their only customers seem to be our prison system. China, Japan, and Indonesia will continue to supply the prisons. The first commercial typewriter was built in 1867 and has served us in one way or another for all these years. Godrej and Boyce, an Indian company that makes the Godrej Prima, stop production in 2009 and won't make any more after it sells the final 500. Until 2009, the company produced as many as 12,000 typewriters a year compared to 50,000 in the 1990s.

I remember my parents renting an old typewriter for my sister. I also remember hearing the sounds of that typewriter as she pounded away while never looking at the machine. She did the same thing with an adding machine as part of her secretarial course. I never mastered the typewriter. It would take me forever (not to mention paper & carbon wasted) to type out one page. I ended paying someone to type my term papers and resumes. I'm not really that sorry about its demise because it was inevitable, but I imagine many households and businesses still have a typewriter, somewhere. The typewriter will find company where old office machines go to die, meeting the dot matrix printers, single function fax machines, and programmable calculators.

Besides the normal ache and pains, night driving, reading the obituary (first thing in the morning) and watching commercials to see if the medicine I'm on has been banned, the constant changing of the way we do things reminds me why my wife now calls me "old man."

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