A typewriter is an electromechanical or mechanical machine for typing characters. Generally, a typewriter has an array of keys, each one causing a different single character to be produced on paper when the key strikes an inked ribbon selectively against the paper with a type element. At the end of the 19th century, a typewriter was also a term applied to a person who used such a device. The first commercial typewriters were introduced to the market for the first time in 1874 but did not become common in offices until after the mid-1880s. It quickly became an indispensable tool for all writing except for personal handwritten correspondence. It was widely used by business correspondence in private homes, professional writers in offices, and students preparing written assignments.
Typewriters were a staple in most offices up until the 1980s. After that, they began to be largely replaced by personal computers running word processing software. However, they still remain common in certain parts of the world. In several Indian cities and towns, typewriters are still used, especially in legal offices and roadsides due to a lack of continuous, reliable electricity. The QWERTY keyboard layout remains the standard for computer keyboards, till today even though it was developed for typewriters in the 1870s. Even though the origins of this layout continue to be in dispute, whether it was developed for mechanical reasons or to suit the operator, particularly Morse code operators.
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