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Posted at 10:56 AM ET, 04/26/2011

Last typewriter factory closed? Don’t start your typed tributes yet.


IBM Selectric typewriter. (IBM ARCHIVES)
On Monday, a story broke that had retronauts bemoaning the death of the typewriter: Somewhere in Mumbai, India, the world’s last typewriter plant was stopping production because of declining orders.

On Twitter, devotees of the retro mechanical device came together using the words “RIP Typewriters.”

They remembered the comforting chattering of keys on a typewriter. The clean black ink on a white page. The satisfying ding when you came to the end of a line.

The tale, however, is not true. Minyanville.com debunked the story, which had originated in the Indian publication Business Standard. Contrary to the Indian manufacturer’s announcement, there are companies still making typewriters.

That news didn’t slow the wave of nostalgia.

Typewriters, like vinyl records and Polaroid cameras, are a technology of the past that we love even more once their existence is threatened. Who really liked having ink-stained hands? Or the whoosh-whoosh sound on vinyl if the record player didn’t have a good needle? Or the incredible bulk of a Polaroid camera?
The Washington Post has a collection of typewriters on display. (By Melissa Bell/The Washington Post)

In many ways, our love of the typewriter is akin to the steampunk movement, in its glorification of an earlier era, and the longing to use anachronistic technology. There’s a comforting simplicity to working on an IBM-made Correcting Selectric typewriter.

Thanks to our schmaltz and nostalgia, you still can. Because typewriters, despite having few remaining manufacturers, can be found at Staples, on Amazon, on Ebay. And for collector-types, at places like myTypewriter.com.

Do you still own a typewriter? A record player? A Polaroid camera? Tell us about your retro treasure and why you love it in the comments, or tweet us with #retrotreasure.

Here are some of #retrotreasures our readers love:

@washingtonpost My 1949 Smith-Corona Clipper is my baby. It was my grandma's when she was in high school. #retrotreasureless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

@washingtonpost My favorite #retrotreasure is my record albums and my 45's. Can't play them but the memories are great.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

I thought about this long and hard, I think my favorite #retrotreasure was an old girlfriend ;)less than a minute ago via Twitterrific Favorite Retweet Reply

@washingtonpost if you can count a normal, straight-up handheld calculator as a #retrotreasure that's mine.less than a minute ago via CoTweet Favorite Retweet Reply

By  |  10:56 AM ET, 04/26/2011

 
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