Claes Oldenburg began to design fantastic proposals for large-scale sculptures and monuments in 1965. Following the success of his soft sculptures, that he had created in the early 1960s as part of his art studio-cum-gallery The Store, Oldenburg began to consider the effect that an ordinary object -like the ones he had created out of canvas and plaster -could have when placed in the mileu of a landscape.
"One day I combined landscapes and objects, only I didn't change the scale. I had a drawing of a vacuum cleaner and another of Manhattan -and I just superimposed them. The result was automatically a 'giant vacuum cleaner' because the city held its scale -it didn't become a miniature city. Somehow it worked" (C. Oldenburg quoted in M. Friedman, Oldenburg: Six Themes, exh. cat., Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 1975, p. 14).
In 1969, Oldenburg moved to a new studio in New Haven, Connecticut. The space was in an old factory building close to a steel fabricating plant, called Lippincott and Company, that the artist would later employ in the manufacture of his large-scale works. Throughout the 1970s, Oldenburg would concentrate on the creation of these monumentally -scaled sculptures, often making a series in not just one scale, but several. The present Typewriter Eraser was ultimately realized in several different scales (the National Gallery of Art owns Typewriter Eraser, Scale X) and is documented by a series of preparatory drawings and lithographs.