TYPEWRITERS: Once High, Now Low

Once High, Now Low

Nearly 30 years ago, IBM revolutionized the office workplace when it introduced the Selectric electric typewriter. The premier symbol of the high- tech office of the future, the Selectric used plug-in cartridges, instead of messy ink ribbons, and replaced the sliding carriage and keys with a rotating typing golf ball. Since 1961, IBM has sold some 13 million Selectrics, making it the best-selling machine in the company's 76-year history.

Yesterday's high tech, though, is today's low tech. The Selectric lost much of its luster in recent years when secretaries switched to word processors and personal computers. As a result, IBM is...

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