Things had begun to change whence we started school. Our bags comprised of pencil, eraser and a writing pad and yes a slate. The senior cadre carried pen, pencil, writing pad and number of lined and plain copy books. The teaching apparatus comprised of a chalk and a duster the latter sometimes used to put us in our place if we became too naughty or inattentive.
My father’s office besides the paraphernalia described above was equipped with a noisy typewriter and ink pads for seal and inkpots for pens. Some rubber bands, gum and pins lay scattered here and there to attach letters or seal envelopes. That is what comprised of stationery and the stationers had to sell these products along with copy books and even literature used in schools and colleges. There was no computer then but soon after some years rather the calculator arrived on the scene. But it was not for educational institutions then rather big well appointed offices had the privilege to use them.
The next introduction was an electronic typewriter but that again was within the capacity of the privileged. Hence old cantankerous type writer remained in the scene and stationers did brisk business selling the typewriter ribbons. The next introduction was revolutionary and that was a modern computer also known as desk top. The dot matrix printer revolutionized communication and accounting. The printer ribbon was added to the inventory of the stationers along with other peripherals.
Slowly but surely stationery industry was growing. It is the constant evolution of the technology that spurred growth as we see it now. Rapid introduction of gadgets like the fax machines, calculators, cash registers, adding machines and receipt and billing machine brought about a paradigm shift in the stationery industry. The type of printers too multiplied creating demand for inkjet cartridges, thermal paper rolls, carbonless paper and what not.
The greeting card industry experienced an overnight turnaround with new printing technology. This thwarted the impact of messaging service brought about by the Internet. The lure for physically printed greetings sent by snail mail stands tall in spite of the onslaught by info graphics and graphically designed greetings sent by the messaging services.
In the contemporary era with the advent of Internet things have changed drastically. The ubiquitous stationery shopping sites have proliferated the cyber space. Internet has brought about a tremendous reach and exposure of emerging technologies to one and all. More is yet to come….