With all the new technology coming out these days one would find it hard to believe that manual typewriters could make a comeback. Yet that is exactly the case. In fact because of all the new technology government agencies are going back to the ancient practice of composing with a typewriter.
Following the NSA leaks in 2014 Germany and Russia began discussing the idea of returning to the ultimate security of a typewriter. And in 2009 the New York Police Department spent over $1 million dollars on manual and electric typewriters. Once you have a typewritten document there is no way to corrupt the “data” on it. You rest assured that your typewriter will not catch a virus or be hacked. There are no hard drives to be destroyed or compromised.. Here at Computer Crusher Recycling Company we process a fair amount of typewriters every year. A lot of the typewriters we get come from our computer recycling events and workplace recycling events. Many times though as we remove electronics from businesses they will also “donate” their old typewriters. We used to automatically assume that these old typewriters have reached end of life and therefore would be scrapped for the metals in them. However recently we have been able to find a new market for reuse of these ancient devices.
Manual typewriters are also becoming popular with millennials. There is the true feeling of a more pure form of technology when you use a typewriter. You can even find typewriter repair shops that have become busier over the past few years. I personally have never used a manual typewriter but can remember typing my high school papers on an IBM electric version. I even had a high school class on typewriting. It is interesting to see these big hunks of metal make a comeback after how far technology has come over the past few years. We saw a similar trend with CRT monitors that we used to be flooded with. We have saw a steady decline in the numbers of CRT’s as everyone shifted to LCD monitors. It is a whole lot easier to recycle a LCD monitor than a CRT with 10 lbs of lead in it. However several years ago we began getting requests from the gaming crowd who wanted to purchase CRT’s because of the deeper rich graphics that an LCD monitor couldn’t produce.
From an environmental standpoint it is great to see an avenue to reuse a product rather than scrapping it. As we recycle tons of ewaste each year we strive to keep up with the trends and find value in the electronics that we process. Now it seems we will need to pay more attention to the ancient technology of the typewriter as it appears in the growing mountain of electronics that we handle piece by piece.