"We are not getting many orders now," Milind Dukle, Godrej and Boyce's general manager, told The Daily Mail. "From the early 2000s onwards, computers started dominating. All the manufacturers of office typewriters stopped production, except us. 'Till 2009, we used to produce 10,000 to 12,000 machines a year. But this might be the last chance for typewriter lovers. Now, our primary market is among the defence agencies, courts and government offices."
Godrej and Boyce, which has been around for about 60 years now, today shut down its last plant in Mumbai, India. For decades, the company was producing and selling tens of thousands of units annually. It the early 1990s, it was still able to sell 50,000 machines, but in 2010, less than 20 years later, that annual number dropped to fewer than 800. Now, the company has about 200 machines left, and most of those are in Arabic languages.
The typewriter is a mechanical device with keys that, when pressed, cause characters to be printed on a medium, usually paper. The first commercial typewriter was produced in the US in 1867 and by the turn of the century had developed into the standardized QWERTY format keyboard that we still have on keyboards today. The device was used extensively through much of the 20th century by many authors and businessmen.
By the end of the 1980s, however, word processors and personal computers largely displaced typewriters in the settings where they previously had been ubiquitous in the Western world. The devices were still common in India until recently, however, although demand for the machines fell in the last 10 years as consumers finally switched to computers.