From Typewriter Topics, December 1918.
The Great War was a great interrupter, too. The typewriter industry, which had only begun to flourish at the turn of the century, was stymied by the conflict as manufacturing shifted from consumer goods to war goods. For a short period, typewriters were scarcely to be found, as the government was purchasing most machines. Foreign markets were entirely shuttered. (See my previous post on this topic, “WWI’s impact on typewriter manufacturing,” here).
The post-war years presented new difficulties: supply chains were not adequate to meet manufacturing demand; strikes halted supplies of steel to some typewriter manufacturers; and, consumer markets were only just recovering.
It is noteworthy that the major typewriter manufacturers — Remington, Underwood, and Royal — entered the portable typewriter market only haltingly, reaching capacity only at the tail-end of 1921. The roaring 20s certainly saw unprecedented growth for all industries, but at the end of World War I, the path forward was not so certain for the typewriter industry.
© 2018, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.