If this were the 1950’s and 60’s, typewriters would have been the hottest thing on the market. There was also a time where the design of a typewriter mattered because they showed a sense of class and elegance. Typewriters transformed into machines that had steel cases encompassed around it. What once was just a piece of equipment that made lives easier now became an object of status. If secretaries were working above manual workers, they would use these typewriters that were seen as more respectable. The beginning of the typewriter’s demise came when word processors were introduced. The reason why these were so popular was that one could make as many mistakes as possible, and still be able to correct them easily, while on a typewriter it would take a significant amount of retyping.
Fast forward to the ’70s, fax machines were all the rage. An office without a fax machine was seen to be old fashioned. But now, the offices that do have fax machines are the ones that are perceived as living in the past. Back when it was first placed on the market, it was considered a pretty innovative piece of equipment. It could scan a document and have it sent to another fax machine by being transmitted through a telephone system. There was a scene in the popular movie Almost Famous, set in the ’70s where one of the characters is talking to another about how the fax machine in their office only takes 18 minutes to be transmitted. Of course, in this digital age, where everything happens at the click of a button, the thought of having a document sent in 18 minutes is unthinkable to us.
Dot Matrix Printer
Another item that’s practically foreign now is the dot matrix printer. These machines were similar to typewriters, but instead of the impression being made by a letter, number, or punctuation, it’s made out of the pins on the printhead. The quality of the prints was dependent on which model of the dot matrix printer you had. For example, a 9 pin machine would have a lower resolution than a 24 pin one. Although these printers were a step up from typewriters, it still had its imperfections such as the loud noise the machine made while printing. However, the ’70s were a time when just having a piece of equipment that prints were a miracle.
Over the years, machines have come and gone, technology has been vastly improved, and people expect more and more from machines. All of the equipment before 2019, has set the stage for everything we have in the present day. It’s exciting to think about how all the technology we have now is going to pave the way for the new set of machines for the future.