From the clacking of its keys to the beauty of its design, the romance of the typewriter endures to this day.

First made on an industrial scale by American firm E. Remington and Sons in the late 19th century, this iconic contraption – Mark Twain called it a ‘new-fangled writing machine’ – revolutionised the workplace, transformed communications and inspired artists and writers.

Typewriter exhibition
Maskelyne No 3 typewriter

This exhibition currently running at the National Museum of Scotland charts the evolution of these machines, from their inception as curious pieces of technology, to stylish mid-century models that are now highly coveted collectors’ pieces.

Drawing together typewriters, including an 1876 Sholes & Glidden example, which was the first to have a QWERTY keyboard, and the 1970s design icon, the Olivetti Valentine, the exhibition explores their role in society, the arts and popular culture through the personal stories of those who designed, made and used them.

Typewriter exhibition
Red Olivetti Valentine typewriter c1970.

Although computers gradually superseded typewriters, many people still love their unique aesthetic and the special experience of writing on one. The exhibition is will be at the National Museum of Scotland until April 17th.