Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Buggy whips, eight-track tapes, and typewriters 

Glenn Reynolds links to a story that reports that the world's last manufacturer of typewriters, an Indian company, is closing its doors. Gone unmentioned in Glenn's post is this little curiosity:

The company is now down to its last 200 machines - the majority of which are Arabic language models.

We invite your speculation as to why this is so.


By Blogger DEC, at Tue Apr 26, 04:56:00 PM:

From Fox News today:

"Don't Believe the Type! World's Last Typewriter Maker Alive and Well in NJ"



By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Apr 26, 07:37:00 PM:

Samuel Clemens is now in good company.  

By Blogger Lionel, at Tue Apr 26, 08:24:00 PM:

If a manual typewriter was good enough for the prophet Muhammad, it's good enough for the Arabs of today.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Wed Apr 27, 05:09:00 PM:

Pervasive and deep-rooted illiteracy (the printing press was banned for centuries in what are now the Arab countries), with a reactionary culture that emphasizes religious truths; and in which innovation is, literally, heretical. *shrugs*

Though I would have thought that the centralized, bureaucratic authoritarian governments that run most of those countries would have had a large enough appetite for typewriters to eat up a few hundred more.  

By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Wed Apr 27, 11:17:00 PM:

Written Arabic is a lingua franca in the ME. Spoken Arabic, not so much (urban Arabs insist they have mutual intelligibility across the Arabic area, but this is only barely true. Once you start including the village, the claim becomes ludicrous). I can't make the next connection why typewriters would still be required in the age of keyboards, but suspect my factoid is a key factor in the answer.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Fri Apr 29, 03:56:00 AM:

Well, what has replaced typewriters? We're all using them to post here - computers. Obviously the Arab world is far behind the rest of the world when it comes to joining the 21st century, or even the 20th.

Despite their claims of oppression, the fact is that the Arab world has taken trillions of dollars from the West for a mineral they couldn't even get out of the ground without our technology. And they have nothing to show for it but a bunch of backward, repressive feudal regimes.  

By Anonymous iron308, at Mon May 02, 08:01:00 AM:

Low tech, untraceable form of communication amongst terrorist cells.

Can't monitor typewriters from a cushy office at the NSA.  

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