We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is an Electric Typewriter?

By Felicia Dye
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At EasyTechJunkie, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

An electric typewriter is a machine that is used to produce type-written materials. Like a printer that is connected to a computer, an electric typewriter requires a power source, paper, and ink. Computers and printers, however, have become more popular than electric typewriters, a trend that is not likely to change.

Manual typewriters have keys that are connected to typebars. When a key is pressed, the typebar with the corresponding letter or symbol is forced up and into an inked ribbon. An impression of the letter or symbol of the key that was pressed then is left on the page. This process generally required the user to strike a key with notable force.

Generally, the advent of electric typewriters substantially improved upon the era of manual typewriters. The first electric typewriters, however, were not as sophisticated as those that still can be found in use. Instead of the electric typewriter relying on the force of a person’s keystroke, it relies on the motor. A person can strike a key and the motor will provide the power needed to move the typebars. This generally allows for easier and faster typing.

Typebars eventually were removed from the electric typewriter and replaced by typeballs. These objects are rotated by the electric motors. When a person strikes a key, the typeball is spun and lifted into contact with the ribbon so that the corresponding letter or symbol can be imprinted on the paper. One typeball can be removed and another put in its place if it is necessary to change the typeface or if letters are needed from another language.

As electric typewriters improved, it became popular for the printing mechanism to move from one side to the other while the paper only moved vertically. Before, the paper was held to a cylinder that moved horizontally as the user typed. When she got to the opposite end of the page, the cylinder would need to be returned to the right and another horizontal row was typed. At first this was accomplished by pushing the cylinder back, but eventually electric power was used.

Typeballs later were replaced with flat, spool-like typewheels. These are made of plastic and contain all the letters and symbols in a vertical row around the outside. As with the typeball, this object is manipulated by the motor. In addition to this, other drastic improvements came about. Multi-color ribbons were invented and correction ribbons were added, which eliminated the need for the manual whiting-out of errors.

The electric typewriter became increasingly easier to use and more sophisticated. Many of the latest versions have features such as electronic display screens and spelling assistance provided by programmed dictionaries. Despite all of the advancements, however, the electric typewriter simply cannot compete with the computer, which has far more capabilities than word processing and printing.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By Markerrag — On May 10, 2014

@Logicfest -- true if you buy a cheap printer. Do some research and find a good one that will handle envelopes and you'll probably be fine.

Besides, how many pieces of antiquated office equipment do you want hanging around, anyway?

By Logicfest — On May 09, 2014

Computers and printers might have all but made the typewriter obsolete, but there is still at least one thing typewriters can do better -- envelopes. Oddly, advances in technology that have greatly improved laser and inkjet printers over the years have not yet yielded a good way to keep envelopes from jamming far too often.

There's no jamming with a typewriter and, in fact, you'll find you can address envelopes quicker when you're not dealing with a finicky printer that tends to wad them up and go nuts.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.