What’s a Typewriter? Typewriters still exist? Yes, as a matter of fact, they do. A typewriter is a mechanical (or electromechanical/digital) device with a standard alphanumeric keyboard also offering some symbols and special keys to change what a given keystroke may do. These include capitalization and secondary symbols sharing a key with numbers or punctuation.

Typewriters have existed since the 19th century, and are a further evolution of the moveable type concept, with the original devices using swivels, counterweights and spring-loaded mechanisms to cause a shaped piece of metal to press an inked ribbon against paper, leaving an imprint on paper. Typewriters became electrical as early as the 1950s, replacing the mechanical springs and weighted keys with simple button presses firing a daisy wheel, or a rotating wheel containing the imprint symbols.

Word processors took hold in the 1960s, and dominated offices clear into the 1990s, which were electrical typewriters capable of using a monitor or onboard display, and printing on command. Today, with the prevalence of computers and even tablets with external keyboards, typewriters are a niche product, but not an extinct one.

Many older writers are more comfortable using electric or mechanical typewriters, and some people enjoy the satisfying click and heavy key experience they produce, despite being okay with a computer for daily tasks. In some legal situations, digitally-sourced documents are inadmissible, giving typewriters a serious place there.

10 Best-Selling Typewriters Comparative Table