Object of the Month: September 2020

This month's highlighted object is a typewriter made by local firm, the Imperial Typewriter Company.

Published: 1 September 2020

Imperial 200 Typewriter
Imperial 200 Typewriter

Chosen by

Ange, Collections Officer at Leicester Museums & Galleries

Collection

Technology

Object Name

Imperial 200 Typewriter

Place made

Leicester

Object information

Imperial 200 manual, portable typewriter from the 1970s. The museum service has a significant collection of typewriters.  

The Imperial Typewriter Company was a British manufacturer of typewriters based in Leicester and Hull.

The company was founded by Hidalgo Moya, an American-Spanish engineer living in England. He set up the Imperial Typewriter Company in Leicester with local businessmen John Gordon Chattaway, William Arthur Evans and Joseph Wallis Goddard.

In 1911, the company began the production of the Model A. It produced over 8,000 models, and kickstarted the company into its revolutionary climb. Featuring a curved keyboard and modular design, the Model A could be repaired when needed.

In May 1974, Asian workers at the Imperial Typewriter Company went on strike over unequal bonus payments and discrimination. The shop stewards committee and Transport & General Workers Union branch refused their support. The strikers stayed on strike for almost 14 weeks. In the years that followed, many people drew inspiration from the strike to fight their own battles

The manufacture of typewriters ceased at Leicester and Hull in 1975.

Find out more about the strike and it's repercussions at this website dedicated to telling the story.

https://strikeatimperial.net/