Hindi Typewriters (RE: Samyuktaksaras (Was: Vital Statistics))

Dick Plukker D.Plukker at INTER.NL.NET
Tue Jan 11 17:01:39 EST 2000


At 13:29 11-1-2000 -0700, you wrote:
>I've also wondered about when Hindi typewriters arrived on the scene.
>
>They were there in 60's. They were quite common, although more expensive
>than English ones. They must still be common.
>
>>...
>Hindi typewriters were already there in 1963 or so, as I remember.
>
>Yashwant
>
>Rajarshi Banerjee  wrote:
>> I always wonder about type-writers for hindi, how did they manage, they
>> must have  existed. I dont recall ever seeing one.
>
>Swaminathan Madhuresan
>>When did the hindi typewriters arrive? Having no conjunct consonant
>>letters, tamil typing came early. But when?
>
According to  Bapurao S. Naik, Typography of Devanagari, Bombay 1971, vol.
2, pp. 636-9 "Remington ... soon started supplying typewriters with Indian
scripts. ... The most useful Devanagari typewriter was made in Germany,
which was designed by V.M. Atre, under the name Nagari Lekhan Yantra."

It is not very clear what Naik's "soon" means, but judging from the context
the first Nagari typewriter probably appeared on the market between 1930
and 1950. And soon the discussion on " ...the need of a Standard Devanagari
keyboard ..." started. Problems discussed then (such as under which key to
put which character, how to deal with conjuncts) seem not to have changed
very much ever since (just think of the many different Nagari computer
fonts and keyboard lay-outs.)


Dick Plukker

India Instituut,
Amsterdam



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