Typewriters: the key facts

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The Independent Online
1 There remains only one typewriter ribbon manufacturer in England. Situated in Lancashire, it is an off-shoot of Ramsbotham's Jubilee Lamp- black (1897) Ltd.

2 The only new manual typewriter available today is a plastic Olivetti. "It's a dreadful thing - we won't sell it," say Globe Typewriters.

3 The BBC produced a musical version of Parkinson's Law in the 1960s, with an overture scored for typewriters.

4 Jeffrey Archer does not write on a word processor - nor does he use a typewriter. He writes all his novels with a pen and paper.

5 Veteran broadcaster Brian Redhead insisted on continuing to use his old typewriter in the fully computerised studios of Radio 4's Today programme.

6 Britain's leading typewriter collector, Bernard Williams, owns more than 300 typewriters, including a pristine model of the first Remington. "It is gorgeously decorated with flowers," he says.

7 The RSI sufferer who was told by a judge that her condition did not exist blamed her ailment entirely on the demise of the typewriter. "If you make a mistake on the WP you correct it immediately and carry on. With a typewriter you had to stop. The pain is now excruciating. My life is hardly worth living."

8 Alistair Cooke typed every Letter From America on a 1929 portable Smith- Corona until last year, when, unable to buy ribbon any longer, he reluctantly purchased his first electronic typewriter.

9 Noel Coward wrote to a friend: "I have just taken delivery of my electric typewriter, and I am in love with my electric typewriter. Indeed, I may marry my electric typewriter."

10 Former Liverpool FC supremo Bill Shankly's Royal typewriter, on which he hammered out the legendary weekly team list, was won last year by a Daily Mirror reader. The Mirror ran a competition, calling on readers' to write in with their best Shankly anecdotes.