A typewriter is a mechanical or electromechanical machine for writing in characters similar to those produced by printer’s movable type by means of keyboard-operated types striking a ribbon to transfer ink or carbon impressions onto paper. Typically one character is printed on each keypress. The machine prints characters by making ink impressions of type elements similar to the sorts used in movable type letterpress printing.
At the end of the nineteenth century the term typewriter was also applied to a person who used such a machine.
A video on the history of typewriters and how they operate.
After their invention in the 1860s, typewriters quickly became indispensable tools for practically all writing other than personal correspondence. They were widely used by professional writers, in offices, and for business correspondence in private homes. By the end of the 1980s, word processors and personal computers had largely displaced typewriters in most of these uses in the Western world, but as of the 2010s the typewriter is still prominent in many parts of the world, including India.