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Over 150 Years Since the 1st Typewriter





Writing Ball Design


Numerous inventors in Europe and the U.S. worked on typewriters in the 19th century, but successful commercial production began only with the "writing ball" of Danish pastor Rasmus Malling-Hansen (1870). This well-engineered device looked rather like a pincushion. Nietzsche's mother and sister once gave him one for Christmas. Apparently he did not like it.


Much more influential, in the long run, was the Sholes & Glidden Type Writer, which began production in late 1873. The Sholes & Glidden typed only in capital letters, and it introduced the QWERTY keyboard, which is very much with us today. The keyboard was probably designed to separate frequently-used pairs of typebars so that the typebars would not clash and get stuck at the printing point. The S&G was a decorative machine, boasting painted flowers and decals. It looked rather like a sewing machine, as it was manufactured by the sewing machine department of the Remington arms company


In our own collection we have four old typewriters that have been donated including this green Remington circa 1950 and a much older Remington.








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