Evolution of the Typewriter

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    Development of the Typewriter

  • First Patent

    First Patent
    The first patent for a "writing machine" was given to a certain Henry Mill of England, though little is known about him or his invention. Likely Henry Mill came up with the idea for a machine for transcribing letters, like that of a typewriter. His patent was the first of its kind to introduce the concept of a writing machine.
  • William Burt's Typographer

    William Burt's Typographer
    The next patent for a writing machine went to William Burt, a man whose fame came not only from this mediocre invention of the typographer, but more so from the solar compass that led its owner to large deposits of iron. The writing machine was indeed exorbitant, with a dial in place of keys and a pace slower than that of a human writing by hand. Still, this machine is the first known model of its kind, and opened the door for similar inventions to emerge.
  • First prototype of typewriter

    First prototype of typewriter
    The idea for the modern typewriter was first introduced by Christopher Latham Sholes. His prototype was based on the telegraph key model, wich had a piece of printer's type mounted on a rod, facing upward to strike against a plate of glass. The type left an impression on a piece of paper attatched to the plate, coining the term "type" writer. Eventually this machine would reform office work- and all writing- irrevocably.
  • Electric Typwriter

    Improvements were made to Shole's typerwiting machine most notably by Thomas Edison, the first man to make the lines of keys straight and easier to use, while also, and more impressively, creating an electric model that would increase the typrewriter's effectiveness and practicality.
  • Sholes and Glidden Type Writer

    Sholes and Glidden Type Writer
    After the original prototype, investor James Densmore bought the rights to the machine from Sholes, and brought it to E. Remington and Sons gunmakers to mass produce it. An engineer from the company added the foot treadle for the carriage return. This model was slow and inefficient and only sold 5,000 models, however it introduced the concept of type writing and opened the door for better, faster models to come.
  • The Caligraph 1

    In 1880 George Yost, one of the contributors to the Shole's and Glidden typewriter, modified the machine into the Caligrpah. This version, though an improvement, was still flawed, with issues with the printing process and the keys. This was the third model to be sold in the US
  • The Hall

    The Hall
    The Hall typerwiter, invented by Thomas Hall, was the first index model of the typewriter and the most popular. Letters could be selected using an index card under a frame with holes, giving the model its name. Production of this model began in New York and continued until the 19th century.
  • Hamilton Automatic

    Hamilton Automatic
    The rare Hamilton Automatic, developed by a jewler, was in fact the first typewriter to have proportionately spaced keys. The machine was made with miniature type bars that would perform an inticate motion between the ink pad and the paper in order to leave their mark. These typewriters never became popular, and production ceased with the introduction of the Columbia Index, a model with the same design but more efficiency.
  • 2nd model: The Caligraph 2

    2nd model: The Caligraph 2
    The second model of the caligraph didnt come until two years after the first, and not until several other inventors were able to produce their own designs. This model was less superflous, less noisy, and less cumbersome. This design was found to be exponentially more popular and easier to use. Though numerous models existed by now, These designs, the ones based off of Sholes first machine, remained the most popular.
  • The Hammond

    The Hammond
    The Hammond typewriter became the only true competition to the Remington 1, or caligraph, with features that survive today. The hardened rubber keys could be replaced easily, and the semi-circular type shuttle and turret are concepts that would be adopted in all typewriters. When a key was pushed, a vertical pin would rise at the same time that the type shuttle turned, the shuttle would be stopped by the upraised pin, the spring would release, the hammer strike, and a letter would appear.
  • The Pocket Typweriter

    The Pocket Typweriter
    The pocket typwrite was only 10 centimeters long, the smallest index typewriter ever invented. Though not very practical or useful, this typewriter was the ipad of the 19th century, equivilant to todays modern i-inventions.
  • The Yost

    The Yost
    Finally recognized for his contributions, Yost had a machine named for him in the third of the great upstrike models, following after the design of the caligraphs. The Yost bore the grasshopper movement of the Hamilton, though the type rested in a circular inkpad instead of hanging down in a basket like the caligraph. The yost models stayed in production for an admirable amount of time: they were a significant contribution to the modern typwriter.
  • The Velograph

    The Velograph
    The Velograph was the first typerwriter to be produced in Switzerland. It followed very closely the design of William Burt and his typographer, with a dial as opposed to keys. This machine, though with the preciscion of the Swiss, was obsolete compared to the Sholes and Glidden model, and was replaced as soon as the more practical version appeared.
  • Fox Portable

    The Fox Typewriter company had been producing impressive machines since 1898, and in 1917 it launched the first collapsable typwriter. The carraige of the Fox collapsed and slid backwards, making it the first portable machine. While the company was sued for design theft, this machine was a glimmer of the future possiblities of portable writing, leading to those inventions of text messaging and iphones.
  • The Electromatic Typewriter

    In 1933 IBM company aquires its patent to produce the electromatic typewriter. Earlier versions of the typewriter required alot of force to create an indent of a letter on the paper, making the text uneven and un uniform in the indentations. Using electicity the type responded to the slightest touch, making text more professional, and the typing less painful.
  • The Z1 Computer

    Konrad Zuse invented the first freely programmable computer in 1936. Though computers would not be linked to typewriters until years later, the invention of the computer was a necessary event that made word processing programs possible.
  • Automatic/Repetitive Typewriter

    This typewriter was produced by M. Shultz Company following the Electronic typwriter of Olivetti and Casio Co.'s. It allowed information storage for later retreival. Information was automatically stored so that the typewriter could be activated to type the same keys as originally used.
  • The Selectric Typewriter

    The Selectric Typewriter used a revolving typeball, refered to as a golf ball or walnut, in place of the usual movable carraige. This design was the fastest yet of the tyewriters.
  • Magnetic Tape/ Selectic Typewriter

    In 1964 the MT/ST was introduced, while the Selectric Typewriter had already been invented, the new magnetic tape was the first reusable storage device that allowed corrections to be made without the entire work requiring re-typing. This was when the idea for Word Processing came about. It did not develop from computer technology, but from typewriter technology. Word Processing was the idea for an electronic way to handle office tasks such as typing and information sorting.
  • Word Processing with a screen

    In 1972 Lexitron and Linolex developed a word processing system with a video display screen and casette tapes for storage. The screen allowed the writer to change his/her work before having to print it.
  • The modern Typewriter

    The modern Typewriter
    Typewriters are still in use today, though computers are considerably more popular. Typewriters are useful for filling out forms where the paper can be aligned to produce type in a particular spot, or in areas where electricity and computers are unavailable. This typwriter sells for 400 dollars online, it is produced by Brother's Home Appliances.
  • Word Processing on the Modern Computer

    Word Processing on the Modern Computer
    Today all laptops and computers have a Word Processing application that allows for incredibly easy and fast typing. There is a button to delete the letters just typed, a copy and paste option to avoid retyping the same text, there are different fonts available, highlighting tools, underline, bold, italics, the uses are unending. The keyboard is the very same QWERTY design added to the very first typewriters.Truly, typewriting has come a long way.