1714 Henry Mil obtained a patent in Britain for a machine that appears to be similar to a typewriter
- “An artificial machine or method for impressing or transcribing of letters singly or progressively one after another”
1760 Adam Albert, Count von Neipperg an Austrian general created a letter-copying machine
1808 Italian Pellegrino Turri invented a typewriter for his blind friend Countess Carolina Fantoni da Frivizzano, but it is not known what it looked like. He also invented carbon paper for use by his machine, it served as ink.
-if interested there’s books, 1973 the writing machine by Michael Adler and Carey Wallace’s 2010 novel the blind Contessa’s new machine based on Turri and the countess’ relationship
1829 American,[from Michigan] William Austen Burt creates and presents “The Typographer” which is dubbed like many other early machines as ‘the first typewriter’ but it is “the first writing mechanism whose invention was documented (science museum of London) “ Even in the hands of the inventor his machine is slower than handwriting. He never found a buyer for his patent so his machine never took off.++++add more
1843-1845 Charles Turber develops multiple patents for machines to aid the blind the “patent printer” in ‘43 and the Chirographer or “Mechanical Chirographer”
in ‘45. Chirography coming from Greek derived through Latin describing the study of penmanship and handwriting.
1855 Italian Giuseppe Ravizza creates a prototype typewriter called Cembalo scrivano o macchina da scrivere a tasti which translates to the, “Scribe Harpsichord or machine for writing with keys “
1861 Father Francisco João de Azevedo, a Brazilian priest, made his own typewriter from basic materials and tools such as wood and knives. He is celebrated by the Brazilian people as being the first real inventor of the typewriter.
1864-1867 Peter Mitterhofer, a carpenter from South Tryol (a former part of Austria) develops several models and a fully functioning prototype typewriter in 1867
1865 -John Pratt builds the Pterotype, which appears in a Scientific American article
-Rev. Rasmus Malling-Hansen of Denmark invents the ‘Hansen Writing Ball’, which goes into commercial production in 1870. It has high success in Europe and is a candidate for the ‘first electric typewriter’ because of it uses solenoid escapement to return the carriage on some of its models. Hansen continued to develop his model from 1870-80. Only the last models worked without electricity, this was the “tall model” Hansen won first prize for his invention in both world exhibitions in Vienna (1873) and Paris (1878) . The machine looks rather like a pincushion. Nietzsche’s mother and sister once gave him a writing ball for Christmas. He hated it.
At this point models become more familiar looking
1867-68 Christopher Latham Sholes a printer and politician patents the typewriter with Samuel Soule and Carlos Glidden. The Sholes & Glidden Typewriter began production in 1873-74, it typed in only capital letters and introduces the QWERTY keyboard. Which is designed to separated pairs of typebars so they do not clash and get stuck when printing. The S&G was a decorative machine boasting painted flower decals, it looked a bit like a sewing machine because of this, however it was manufactured by the sewing machine department of the Remington Arms Company, to which the pair had sold their patent for $12,000. The typebars struck upward so the typist could not see what they had typed
-“the original only wrote in capital letters and its structure prevented the operator from seeing the line that she was writing” “The machine is very crude, but there is an idea that will revolutionize the business. We must not let the account get away”-Henry Benedict director at the Remington Company
The QWERTY was not the most successful layout but because of the success of the S&G model other typewriter manufacturers slowly adopted it.
Dr. August Dovark invented what is known as the Dovark keyboard that is far more efficient. It uses less finger motion to increase the typing rate and reduce errors.
1880 the Caligraph of 1880 was the second typewriter to appear in the American market, Has a “full” keyboard- separate keys for both lower and uppercase letters.
1884 Universal Hammonds are introduced that do not have ad traditional style keyboard, has a two-row curved ‘idea’ keyboard on a c-shaped piece of vulcanized rubber. The shuttle can be exchanged for a different typeface. It has no platen or typebars. Paper is hit against the shuttle by a hammer. This machine had a solid base of loyal customers up until the word processing era. It had a name change though to Varityper when it was electrificated.
1891-96 Williams and Oliver were early visible machines
1891 The Daughery Visible was the first frontstroke typewriter to go into production. The typebars hit the platen in the front.
1895 the typewriter began to gain power/ popularity. The Underwood #5 was produced by the millions.
1920s basically all typewriters are lookalikes with frontstroke, QWERTY, typebars printing through a ribbon using the shift key, four banks of typebars. Though a few strays did manage to survive.
1980s typewriters were replaced, for efficiency, by word processors on personal computers