This is part of our yearlong series on the history of communication.
Before there were computers, tablets, and smartphones, typewriters were used for many years as a tool for mass communication. It was invented in 1871, but gained popularity in the first half of the 20th century, revolutionizing how people communicate. Although typewriters have declined in popularity, the QWERTY keyboard is still considered the standard layout for all keyboards today.
We found this vintage Encyclopedia Britannica film from the 1940s explaining how typewriters are used.