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The invention and wide dissemination of Typography led to the conception of the idea for the manufacture of the typewriter (office machine). From the beginning of the 18th century, models were designed to imitate the text production process that took place in the printing houses of that time, but the construction of a fully functioning machine did not take place until the end of the 19th century. Then, in the USA, the first mass-produced industrial typewriter models were built by the Remington gun and sewing machine company in 1873 and the Underwood company in 1898. These two establishments led the way for others to follow (Oliver, Royal, Smith-Corona) with typewriter production, constantly modernising their operations in response to the competition created by the demand for the product. The first 'portable' typewriters were launched in 1909. By 1950 all the major companies had launched portable typewriter models, which led to an increased use of the typewriter in the professional and private sectors. The electric typewriter had been invented by Thomas Edison as early as 1872 but was not on the market until 1920. At that time the first heavy and noisy electric typewriters were released, without success. In 1935, the IBM Electric Typewriter, the first commercially successful electric typewriter in the United States, was released by International Business Machines Corporation.

The 20th century is considered the 'golden age' of the typewriter, as its use became widespread throughout the world. The power it had gained is evident from the fact that it was often used in the movies of that period (American, European) as it was an essential part of many people's daily life in their work and personal space. Unlike many countries that manufactured their own typewriters, Greece was not able to do the same and had to import typewriters from abroad with a Latin or Greek keyboard. At the end of the 20th century the typewriter began to be gradually but steadily replaced by the computer.

Updated: 29-03-2023
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