Machine Monday: Morris


The Morris typewriter was an index machine invented by Robert Morris of Kansas City. His first version, with a wooden base,  appeared in 1885  and had some success in selling a few hundred.  In 1886 Mr. Morris sold the manufacturing rights to Hoggson & Pettis Manufacturing Company of New Haven, Conn., upon which improvements were made to its design, including metal trellised base.


While the Hoggson & Pettis company produced the Morris it was sold for $15 dollars in the U.S. markets. It could produce 45 different characters and it was advertised as being able to type up to 70 words per minute. Each Morris came with a wood case with paper label instructions glued to its inside lid. An oiling kit was also included which would have fit conveniently in a small compartment within the case.

It is unclear when the last of the Morris Index typewriters were produced, it appears to be sometime around 1890.  There were two models (three if you count the originals produced before Hoggson & Pettis as a separate model), but serial numbers were never used and production records are quite lacking.



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