Swintec has been providing office equipment since 1973. Our product lineup consists of of portable registers, printers, electronic typewriters, portable typewriters, Word Processors and now Clear Cabinet typewriters and Clear Cabinet Word Processors. The clear cabinet models, especially designed for use in Correctional Facilities, have been playing a major role in Prisons throughout the US. They provide a solution for inmates as well as the facilities in providing the inmate with a tool to use to communicate while at the same time help eliminate a problem that faces prisons every day, and that is contraband!
Swintec ribbons, correction tapes and print wheels/daisy wheels are available for new and old Swintec typewriters as well as a host of other brand typewriters.
Our line of Swintec electronic Calculators has been in use by accountants, bookkeepers, students, business owners and home owners assisting them in their daily task of basic to sophisticated calculations. Everything from square root to budget planning and retail gross profit margin calculations.
We provide the supplies and accessories necessary to keep your Swintec products running at peak efficiency. Whether it is calculator ribbons or typewriter ribbons, lift-off tapes, cover-up tapes or print wheels, you can feel confident the item you order will work properly on your Swintec product.
In 1986, we earned our first sole source Typewriter Contract with the United States Federal Government and as a result, have been heavily involved with government sales ever since.
We have enjoyed selling to and servicing all forms of government agencies and political subdivisions. Swintec has designed special typewriters and word processing applications to meet the needs of government agencies as well as commercial businesses to solve everyday typing applications beyond just letter writing. We offer "Forms-Fill-In" in our 8500C word processor to speed up, automate and simplify applications like "Purchase Orders" where multiple part forms are used extensively.
From Fox News Tech:
Nostalgic newspaper reports around the globe lamented the death of the typewriter recently, as Indian manufacturer Godrej and Boyce announced its intentions to pull the plug on its Mumbai factory.
After decades of use and trillions of typed characters, the typewriter appeared to have written its own swan song.
Not so fast.
Despite the surge in popularity of PCs, and their smaller digital cousins the iPads, the typewriter is far from dead, said Ed Michael, general manager of sales at Moonachie, N.J.-based Swintec. So forget Godrej: Swintec seems to be the last typewriter maker in operation.
"Typewriters are alive and well," Michael told FoxNews.com. Most big offices need a typewriter or two or three to do some special jobs -- special forms, multipart forms. Some places need to have typewriters to do original forms such as birth certificates, death certificates, things like that."
"These are things that need to be done," Michael said. Swintec makes its own typewriters, though the company doesn't manufacture in the United States.
"They're made off-shore, in Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia," Michael tod FoxNews.com. "But they all ultimately end up here in New Jersey." And just like Godrej, which specialized in sales to government agencies, there's an industry keeping Swintec's production lines rolling: prisons.
We have contracts with correctional facilities in 43 states to supply clear typewriters for inmates so they cant hide contraband inside them, Michael told Minyanville.
"We sell direct, and the inmates are going to own them themselves. That's a pretty good sized market for us -- we do a pretty good volume," he told FoxNews.com.
Swintec advertises numerous models of typewriters and word processors for sale on its website, with prices ranging from $300 to nearly $1,000 for a deluxe model -- the 7040 Electronic Typewriter with Spellproof. The ultradeluxe model advertises the latest in typing technology: It has a 48,000-character memory, an adjustable 40-character liquid crystal display, and a variety of text editing and file storage capabilities.
It also boasts 48K of memory -- so despite its advanced state, it's hardly a rival for a powerful PC.
And the PC has indeed spelled demise for Godrej and Boyce; the company has only a few hundred manual typewriters left in stock. The company pegged the demise of the typewriter to the popularity of word processors, and their successors, the personal computer, which transformed the way we work with words.
It was seemingly inevitable that demand for the machines would sink -- even in India, reportedly one of the device's last strongholds -- with the rise of the personal computer. General manager Milind Dukle told India's Business Standard newspaper that "we are not getting many orders now."
"Till 2009, we used to produce 10,000 to 12,000 machines a year." he said. And during its golden age in the 1990s, the company used to produce 50,000 machines every year, while the total output in India was about 150,000.
"This might be the last chance for typewriter lovers. Now, our primary market is among the defense agencies, courts and government offices," Dukle said.
So ignore the rumors, pay no heed to the reports of the typewriter's demise. It has a long future ahead of it, Michael told FoxNews.com.
"In 1899 someone invented the electric vacuum cleaner -- and everyone still has a broom in their closet," he said.
From The New Yorker:
Kenneth Foster, Jr., became a writer on death row. When he was nineteen, he drove three friends to two armed robberies in San Antonio, Texas; late that night, one of the friends shot and killed a man. Foster was in the car, approximately eighty feet away, but, under the Texas Law of Parties, he was convicted, in 1996, of capital murder. (Foster, like more than a third of the prisoners executed in Texas, is African-American.) He started writing a few years later, after he watched correctional officers forcibly remove a prisoner from his cell. This man was gassed, wrestled down, cuffed and dragged to his fate, he told me recently, in a letter. The prisoner was executed by lethal injection, and Foster began to grasp that, one day, the same thing would happen to him. He needed to share what he saw and felt. I have written with everything from pen, typewriter, marker, to my own blood, he explained. I have written on tables, floors, on walls when I only had a crack of light, in the dark, under blinding lights.
He bought his first typewriter, a Smith Corona, around 1999, and he began writing letter after letter in an effort to stop his execution, which was set for August 30, 2007. The state kept death-row prisoners in solitary confinement, or seg, and, alone in his cell, Foster began to think of his typewriter as a companion. He recalled:
"Regardless that Ive had countless of these cheap machines each one is baby. The receiver of my affection and attention. Without her I didnt feel complete. With her I felt like I was on a DELL in an office somewhere in upper Manhattan. While guys spent time in these Seg cells calling out chess moves over the walkways or doing push-ups until their veins bulged from their temples, I was in my cell pecking away trying to create a different world for myself. Some kind of way I felt I could rewrite my future."
In Texas, before prisoners are put to death, the seven-member Board of Pardons and Paroles reviews their applications for clemency one last time. On August 30th, Foster saw his wife and grandfather, and, in a small act of protest against capital punishment, he refused to eat a final meal. Then his father arrived. Six to one! he shouted, ecstatic. The board had read Fosters typewritten application and voted to recommend that his death sentence be commuted to life in prison. An hour later, Governor Rick Perry called off the execution.
Foster said that as soon as he was sent back to a prison cell, he resumed writing. In the years that followed, many prisons began to regulate typewriters. When Fosters typewriter broke a few years ago, he discovered that the commissary stocked only clear-plastic machines made by Swintec. This model often broke, he said, but he depended on it. Buttons stop working, centering goes off, he told me. It costs two hundred and twenty-five dollars. Thats a ludicrous price to pay for such junk, but for a person that produces as much material as myself it is absolutely necessary.
Just across I-95 from New York City, in a light-industrial patch of Moonachie, New Jersey, a one-story building houses the headquarters of the Swintec Corporation, the nations sole supplier of clear typewriters. Eighty-five people used to work in the office; fewer than ten do today. Among them is Ed Michael, Swintecs prison-sales manager. He joined the company in 1985. We didnt think about the prison market until the early two-thousands, he told me. We had no sense of the amount of business that was available.
Swintec started out as a supplier of office devices like shredders and adding machines, but the rise of personal computing cut deeply into its profits. Then Swintec employees realized that PCs werent making it into prisons: few American prisons permit computers, and many require that electronics be constructed out of transparent plastic, to prevent inmates from hiding contraband inside. It was a breakthrough, Michael told me. At corrections conferences, guards confirmed that clear-plastic typewriters would reduce the need for tedious inspections. It was good for them, good for us.
More than two million people are incarcerated in the United States; they represent an immense and literally captive market. In total, states spend more than fifty billion dollars a year on their correctional systems, much of which goes to private companies in the form of contracts for construction, food, medical services, phone lines, and products sold to inmates. Swintec typewriters sell modestly, on the order of three thousand to five thousand machines per year, Michael said. Each costs roughly the same as a cheap laptop. But, unlike laptops, typewriters also consume a steady stream of supplies. One catalogue sent to prisons across the U.S. sells ribbons (eight dollars), correction tape (fourteen dollars for a six-pack), and printwheels (forty-nine dollars). The handful of inmates with whom I corresponded all told me that few people in prison can afford Swintec typewriters. In that catalogue, theyre the most expensive item for sale. (A clear-plastic television is as much as eighty dollars cheaper than the cheapest Swintec.) Wages for incarcerated people can generally be measured in cents per hour.
We dont feel that our machine is overpriced, Michael told me, citing the costs of developing special features like spell-check and cut-and-paste. He wouldnt say how much Swintec spends to manufacture its machines, which are shipped in from factories in Indonesia and Japan, but he did say that the company profits when prisons specifically approve their devices. A lot of states will mandate that their inmates can only buy those types of machines, he said. Thats one reason that a typewriter company can survive in the era of smartphones.
I asked Tom Furrier, a typewriter repairman in Arlington, Massachusetts, what he thought of the price of Swintec machines, which he occasionally sells and repairs. It might as well be a thousand dollars, to some people, he said. But I dont think the cost is outrageous, by any means. Hundreds of old-fashioned typewriters sit on shelves in Furriers shop. I asked him why prisoners couldnt use refurbished machines like that. You could almost fashion anything out of these pieces, he told me, pointing to the steel lever arms of an Underwood. It would be lethal, Im sure. Almost any part in this machine.
John J. Lennon, who is serving twenty-eight years to life for a 2001 murder, used a Swintec typewriter to become a journalist in prison. When I visited him recently, at Sing Sing Correctional Facility, in Ossining, New York, he told me that he traded his first typewriter to another prisoner for drugs. But eventually he joined a writers workshop run by a Hamilton College professor, Doran Larson, and a Swintec helped him write about his life: the man he killed; a stabbing he survived; the mother who had, through everything, continued to support him.
Lennons cell has no chair, so, until recently, he would sit on an upturned bucket next to the bed, upon which he would place the typewriter. Lately, on account of back pain, he sits on the bed and rests his typewriter on his lap. Youll hear my typewriter going all day, he said. Lennons Swintec allows him to save a maximum of seven thousand characters. You have to get the first four pages solid, delete, then start the next four, he told me. During periods when his typewriter is broken, he writes letters by hand, in a neat cursive scrawl. A few years ago, he asked a fellow-prisoner to tattoo a typewriter on his arm.
In 2013, Lennon wrote an essay arguing that gun-control laws could have stopped him from buying the assault rifle that he had used for murder. Despite the Xanax dulling my emotions, my heart pounded when I picked up the M-16, he typed. A surge of power rushed through me when I felt the trigger. He mailed the piece to a few magazines; The Atlantic published it on its Web site. Its a high when you get something published, he told me. During our conversation, he started one sentence with, When Im out, maybe working for a magazine. Around us, parents played Scrabble with their incarcerated sons, and children drank soda with their incarcerated fathers. Hopefully my third act is a little sexier than my second, he said.
Others have achieved what Lennon aspires to. In 2003, Daniel Genis, a Russian-American in his early twenties, was arrested for a string of robberies in Manhattan. In prison he wrote Narcotica, a novel about drug addiction, on a Swintec, and since his release he has written about incarceration for Vice and the Daily Beast. But such stories are rare. During my visit to Swintec headquarters, Ed Michael told me about Stanley (Tookie) Williams, III, a gang member who killed four people in Southern California. Michael seemed moved by the fact that, while on death row in California, Williams used a Swintec to write books for children. I asked what happened to him. They finalized his sentence, Michael said. They did it. Yeah. So hes not there anymore.
Nearly ten years have passed since Kenneth Foster, Jr., was spared from execution. I look at it as Im halfway through my life, he told me. Ive now spent more time in prison than I did a free man. Hes housed in a maximum-security prison in Beaumont, Texas, where all of his possessions fit in two cubic feet. Alongside the Bible, the Quran, a seven-language dictionary, and Blacks Law Dictionary, he keeps his typewriter. Recently, Foster told me that his unit had been placed on lockdown because of a stabbing in the prison. The phones were shut off, and he didnt have time to buy stamps before the commissary closed. He found himself, once again, turning to the typewriter for companionship.
He hopes that, if he types enough sentences, he can change the one sentence that matters most: he is eligible for parole in August, 2036. Writing gives shape to the weeks and months in front of him. Sometimes Foster writes letters to his daughter, who was recently released from federal prison herself. At one point, I asked whether writing gives him solace. I wouldnt say that solace is the right word, he said. I guess writing has made me feel that I have a fighting chance.