June 23, the anniversary of the granting of a patent to American inventor Christopher Latham Sholes in 1868 is celebrated around the world as Typewriter Day. So, take out your old typewriter from the attic, dust it and get started on your magnum opus!
A typewriter is a mechanical device that allows users to type directly on a sheet of paper. While many people had been working on different prototypes of typewriters before 1868, Christopher Latham Sholes’ typewriter was the first one to be commercially marketed. Known as the Sholes and Glidden typewriter or the Remington 1 typewriter, the device could only type uppercase letters.
Typewriters revolutionized the world of communications. Letters and correspondences looked more professional, followed a consistent format and were more legible when typed out on a typewriter compared to handwritten communications that dominated the workplace in the past. In addition to creating an efficient and more organized workspace, the use of typewriters in businesses and governments worldwide meant that typing became a required skill for many jobs. A large percentage of these jobs were administrative in nature and were usually done by women, who were specifically hired for their typing skills – the typewriter played an very important role in opening up workspaces for women.
How to Celebrate?
- Organize a typewriting contest – whoever types the fastest and with the least number of errors wins.
- Show your typewriter pride by wearing typewriter shaped jewelry.
- Avoid using your computer and email, type letters and send them in the post/ mail.
Did You Know…
…that most typewriters and computers today share the same keyboard layout?