Who uses a typewriter anymore?

Even though I am considered young, in some circles, I learned to type using a typewriter. Though I use email, a friend of mine and I send corespondence via “snail mail” using old manual typewriters that we have had over the years. I use either an Underwood, or portable Roayal depending on which one I feel like typing on. Do the kids today still learn to type on typewriters or has that too gone to the way of computer? I know some offices keep one handy for certain forms and documents (especially if they use carbon copy paper), but who still uses typewriters for letters and general writing purposes?

I’ve got a typewriter from the 50’s in my room that I like to bang away on from time to time (it makes me type slow enough so I can actually think about what I’m writing), but I rarely use it for correspondance purposes. Handy for filling out forms though. My mom has a newer electric typewriter that I can’t stand, always humming loudly and being noisy as all get-out.

But yeah, mostly I type on the computer. I also learned to type on a computer, but since the keyboard layout is the same, that still worked for me with typewriters (I just have to remind myself that I can’t do 100WPM on my trusty mechanical typewriter)

I, too, learned to type on a typewriter: a manual. So I still pound away at the keyboard like Ros Russell in His Girl Friday, and I wear the letters off the keys rather quickly. I have a 1920s Underwood at home I’d love to use for envelopes and labels, but it needs some repair. I could find someone in NYC who still repairs typewriters, I imagine: but you know how much those things weigh, how the hell would I get it into the city and back home?!

I learned on typewriters (my first was a Royal I used in college, though I had learned in high school). In my day, when you went to college, your parents bought you a typewriter; now, they buy a computer.

I still have a very heavy touch on the keys, though I haven’t used a manual typewriter in at least 30 years. But I don’t use one at all these days.

I used one to take my bar exam a few months ago. It’s a pain in the butt to locate a typewriter with a Dvorak keyboard and no memory capabilities, let me tell you! (It’s a Silver Reed that was surplus at Ohio State.)

They’ll get my IBM Selectric II when they take it from my cold dead hands.

I’ve had young adults ask me “Is that a typewriter?” and child ask “What is that?” Little child can’t get over how they can SEE what they typing as they type it.

Since the OP is looking for shared opinions, etc. let’s move this from General Questions.

samclem GQ moderator

My dentist’s office has no computers at all and all typing is done on a typewriter. We still use them in our office for the occasional form that has yet to be put into Adobe or Word. I still own two myself but my old Underwood needs some work. Where does one buy ribbons these days?

Since the OP did not specify country, I’ll say based on my experience in Mexico, they are still used in governmental offices by secretaries, though a good number are the electric type. There is a push to phase 'em with new computers, but typewriters are still cheaper to maintain than a computer.

My office uses a typewriter for forms and individual envelopes. I had to use it the other day, and it was the first time I had to use a typewriter in about 15 years.


While I learned to type on one (electric though), and am fairly good, I hate them and will never use them again if I can avoid it. I’m glad I learned the skill, though.

Lots of people still use them - at the library we still have three coin op ones and they get a decent amount of use. Administration is talking about doing away with them because they’re always broken and nobody really knows how to fix them and it’s a huge pain all around, but I think the service is still necessary. I’d like them to just take the coin boxes off and make them free.

Somebody at work put an old rusty Underwood typewriter on a filing cabinet in my office, and placed a sign on it that said “PoorYorick’s Word Processor.”

Damn whippersnappers.

I still use one in my office. My company is a good 50-60 years old. All are customer data cards are 3x5s. It is just much easier to add lines with a typewriter. Some day we will put the database on a computer but no ones volenteering to enter it in.

I would do this – I love to type, whether it’s on a typewriter or a computer keyboard. When I’d get bored at work, I’d find something to retype, just for the fun of it.

Last time I used a typewriter was last fall at work, typing a multi-carbon order form – only it wasn’t carbon paper, it was that newfangled stuff. :slight_smile:

That typewriter died. It was the last one in the building (community college). They tossed it.

I have an old Olivetti that I use occasionally to type plotting stuff onto index cards. Benefits (to doing this instead of writing): I will be able to read it days from now, and if I spill coffee on it it won’t run.

We have two at my job, fancy electric models. We have them because death certificates are still a triplicate form with carbons. And Vital Records will not accept any typos or corrections.

Screw up one tiny letter of a non-intuitive 50-answer form, and it’s in the trash while you start a new one over.

I pine for the future time when death certificates will be on the computer where you can delete and backtrack and fix it all you like until it’s RIGHT, without using a typewriter.

I, too, learned on manual typewriters and moved to word processing as soon as it was practical and haven’t looked back. I remember my first network admin job: I took it upon myself to make the typewriters obsolete. Surprised everyone in the office when, within a year of my arrival, the last typewriter was placed in the supply room as a backup.

My officemate has a Selectric with a wheel and types an envelope almost every week. I’m debating whether to show him how to do envelopes on his laser printer.

Don’t think anyone’s really answered this yet:

In the US, I don’t imagine there are many, if any. In my not-affluent-but-not-poor not-tiny-but-not-huge high school, in the mid-to-late 90s, there were no typing classes which still used typerwriters. They were called “keyboarding” and used computers.

The best place would be to go online or a office supply store other than Office depot or any other chain. A friend of mine found where he could buy a lot of it and so when I can’t type on a ribbon any more I respool it.