Machine Monday: Caligraph

caligraph 2

The Caligraph was the second American typewriter to come on the market, after the Sholes and Glidden / Remington. Like the Remington, the Caligraph is an understroke typebar typewriter; you must lift the carriage in order to see what you have just typed. The Caligraph #1 (1880) types only in capital letters, but subsequent models type in both upper and lower case. The Caligraph’s lower-case keys are the white keys in the middle of the keyboard; upper-case black keys are on either side. Not an arrangement that lends itself to touch typing! There are two space bars, one on either side. The long extension in front of the keyboard is necessary to accommodate the typewriter’s system of leverage.


One problem that Georg W.N. Yost, the big man behind the Caligraph, didn’t master on this machine was alignment. The individually suspended type bars were held down with screws and could very easily be turned around. Adjusting them must have been a lot of work, but also a continuing problem once the machine was in use. It was this problem that Yost decided to solve on the next machine he produced and that was to carry his name: the Yost typewriter.

caligraph 4



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