Machine Monday: Columbia Index

The Columbia Type Writer was built by Charles Spiro of New York, who later designed the famous Bar-lock typewriter. This index machine of 1885 did not sell very well and it is quite rare. Spiro was a lawyer and an accomplished violinist. In his youth he was an apprentice in a clock factory, which may... Continue Reading →

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Machine Monday: Hammonia

The Hammonia was the first European typewriter to be produced in any numbers; however, this machine is scarce today. It was invented by Andrew Hanson of London and covered by a British patent in 1882. H. A. Guhl of Hamburg protected it the following year with a German Patent and produced it in his sewing... Continue Reading →

Machine Monday: Caligraph

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... Continue Reading →

Machine Monday: Remington Standard 2

The Remington 2 (the name Remington 1 was used for the latest Sholes & Glidden model) was fitted with a number of improvements to the original S&G design that would last a century. The qwerty keyboard had been designed by Sholes himself, but new to the keyboard was the 'shift' key, that literally shifted the... Continue Reading →

Machine Monday: Hansen Writing Ball

Although the Sholes & Glidden is generally regarded as the first production typewriter in history, the Hansen writing ball in fact beat the S&G by no less than four years. The Reverend Rasmus Hans Malling Johan Hansen (1835-1890) worked as a teacher and as director of an institution for the deaf and dumb in Copenhagen.... Continue Reading →

Machine Monday: Pocket Typewriter

The primitive machine was operated by placing it on a piece of paper with the enameled index to the right. The index was rotated until the desired character stood on the left. The letter was printed by pushing the index down onto the paper. The machine would then be pulled one space forward. Friction was... Continue Reading →

Machine Monday: The Velograph

The Velograph was the first typewriter built in Switzerland. It appeared in two models, first with a flat index disk and in 1888 with the dome-shape shown here. The circular index shows letters on one side, and figures and special characters in a separate e section. Upper and lower case letters were arranged on opposite... Continue Reading →

Machine Monday: Hamilton Automatic

Often referred to as the Hamilton Automatic, the Automatic Typewriter was patented by Emery M. Hamilton of New York in 1887 and placed on the market in 1888.  It was manufactured almost entirely of brass and was remarkably small, measuring only 11" wide x 8" deep x 4" tall.  Inside its diminutive chassis are tiny typebars... Continue Reading →

Machine Monday: Merritt

The Merritt Index typewriter was designed by Mortimer and Charles Merritt and first produced in 1890 (or 1889, by some accounts).  It is an index machine which used a knob to slide the character into place.  It was then pressed to print.  It was able to print upper case, lower case, and numerals.  The machine... Continue Reading →

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