On this day in 1989, the London broadsheet The Daily Telegraph ran an eight-page insert on "Office Automation". The spread included this Anthony Marshall photo of a then 71-year-old British typewriter collector and historian Wilfred Albert Beeching, author of Century of the Typewriter (first hardcover edition published by William Heinemann, London, 1974; second softcover edition published by British Typewriter Museum Publishing, Bournemouth, 1990). Beeching was born Sidney Frank Appleton in Smallburgh, Norfolk, on September 9, 1918. He changed his name by deed poll in Bournemouth in October 1941. Five years later, after serving in World War II, Wilf Beeching entered the typewriter trade as a manufacturers' agent with an office machine shop in Bournemouth. The business must have been good, for in less than 30 years Beeching had accumulated a collection of some 350 rare early typewriters. In late September 1974 he opened his version of the British Typewriter Museum at 137 Stewart Road, Bournemouth. Unfortunately, in 1978, the site was closed by the land owner in order to build a car park and Beeching presented his collection to the Bournemouth Borough Council. The collection was insured by the borough through the Bournemouth Museums Service and the borough bought the museum's souvenir shop stock and all rights to the museum brand name for £1500. The museum was moved within the Rothesay Museum at 8 Bath Road and reopened as "a museum within a museum" on October 23, 1978. Beeching became an "honorary keeper" as part of the arrangements. The museum remained in operation until the demolition of the Rothesay Museum in 1985. Beeching was outraged and asked to take the collection back. It included a Blick Electric and the extremely rare Conqueror. The collection was later split up, with some of it going to the Science Museum in London and other typewriters being sold to private collectors, including Uwe Breker. Beeching died in Bournemouth in July 2000, aged 81.
The Telegraph's supplement also included articles on the state of the typewriter industry in Britain at that time, and an article about QWERTY which, unfortunately, was one of those items which promoted the old furphy about QWERTY being devised to "slow down typists" when quite the opposite was in fact the case. It's amazing how many people still believe the "slow down" nonsense.