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Thursday 25 April 2013

Typewriter Industry Answers World War I Call

Today, April 25, Australia and New Zealand observe Anzac Day, honouring their war dead and their involvement in wars from the Boer to Afghanistan. The date marks the anniversary of the first Gallipoli landings in Turkey in World War I, on April 25, 1915.
Total World War I deaths per selected nation,
with percentage of then population
Austria-Hungary 1,567,000 3.05%
Australia 61,966 1.38%
Belgium 120,637 1.63%
Canada  66,976 0.92%
France 1,697,800 4.29%
German Empire 2,476,897 3.82%
Italy 1,240,000 3.48%
New Zealand 18,052 1.64%
Ottoman Empire 2,921,844 13.72%
United Kingdom 995,939 2.19%
United States  117,465 0.13%
TOTAL 16,563,868 1.75%
The United States entered the war on April 6, 1917, and until the Armistice was declared at 11am on November 11, 1918, it had lost 117,106 servicemen and 359 servicewomen.
More than two million US servicemen and women answered the call to duty. A staggering 3423 came from the typewriter and office equipment industries alone.
From May until October 1918, industry publication Typewriter Topics paid tribute to those in these industries who had answered the call to serve, with a monthly Roll of Honour board. 
We have often speculated about the impact of World War I on the typewriter industry, without factoring in the numbers of typewriter factory workers who left for the Western Front. Here is some hard evidence of that impact:
MAY 1918
JUNE 1918
JULY 1918
As the war drew to an a merciful end, here is the amusing perspective of a young Englishman who had worked for the Bar-Lock Typewriter Company in London:
In May 1918, Typewriter Topics published this article from an American woman living in Germany. Again, these are aspects of war we don't tend to think about:
They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
- Ode of Remembrance, from Laurence Binyon's F0r The Fallen, 1914


Unknown said...

Hi Robert (if I may) Great blog! I'm an academic researching the typewriter and would like to use some of the news articles you include in your blog. Would you be willing to share the citations?

Robert Messenger said...

Probably, if I know who you are. "Unknown" doesn't cut it I'm afraid.