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Early Office Museum

Antique Office Typewriters

This Museum gallery covers the early typewriter models that were most prevalent in offices: Upstrikes, Hammonds, Front Strikes, Olivers and, later, Electric Front Strike typewriters, and IMB Selectrics. For convenience the gallery includes a few models that probably did not have substantial sales to offices (National and American upstrikes and Daugherty/Pittsburg, Jackson, and Standard Folding/Corona front strikes). Special purpose office typewriters and other typewriters are discussed and illustrated on subsequent web pages. The see them, click on the "Next" link at the top of this page.

 

General Purpose Office Typewriters

Until the 1960s, the most common office typewriters were sturdy keyboard machines that used type-bars. Until the first years of the 20th century, the office standard was the upstrike typewriter. During the 1900s-1950s, the standard was the front strike typewriter. However, the downstrike Oliver was also popular during the first quarter of the 20th century.

 

Edison Sholes & Glidden Typewriter.jpg (36220 bytes)
1872 Sholes. Notice cord for carriage return
1872_Sholes_Type_Writer_Sci_Amer_Aug_10_OM.JPG (25540 bytes)
Sholes Type Writer.
Scientific American, 1872
1873_Sholes__Glidden_from_1923_Herkimer.jpg (192686 bytes)
1873 Sholes & Glidden (Herkimer)
1874 1877 Sholes & Glidden Mfg E. Remington & Sons Ilion NY OM.JPG (37298 bytes)
1874 Remington Sholes & Glidden

Upstrike Typewriters with Single Keyboards
~ Sholes & Glidden ~ Remington No. 1 ~

During the late 1860s and early 1870s, Christopher L. Sholes and collaborators invented the first practical typewriter, which was produced by E. Remington & Sons and sold as the Sholes & Glidden Type Writer during 1874-78. (See advertisement to the right.) The earliest Sholes & Gliddens were mounted on sewing machine stands,  and their carriage returns were operated by foot treadles. Sholes & Glidden machines typed only upper case letters. Approximately 5,000 were sold. For superb photographs of a Sholes & Glidden sold by Auction Team Köln, click here.

The Sholes & Glidden typewriter introduced the QWERTY keyboard, so named because Q-W-E-R-T-Y are the first letters at the top left of the keyboard. Ever since, QWERTY has been the most popular configuration on typewriter and computer keyboards, and you have one in front of you at this moment. There are many myths about the origin of the QWERTY arrangement of keys and about its supposed inferiority to alternatives, particularly the Dvorak keyboard devised in 1932. These myths are exploded by S. Liebowitz and S. Margolis, "The Fable of the Keys," Journal of Law & Economics, April 1990, and "Typing Errors," Reason, June 1996.

The Sholes & Glidden was an upstrike typewriter, so named because the type struck the bottom of the platen from below. The operator of an upstrike could not see what was typed without stopping and swinging the hinged carriage upward.

MBHT_Remington_1_old_style_in_No._4_brochure.jpg (164145 bytes) 
Remington No. 1 Old Style, image from Remington No. 4 brochure (MBHT)

1874 Sholes & Glidden with Treadle OM.JPG (8893 bytes)
1874 Sholes & Glidden with foot treadle

Remington_No._1_from_Herkimer.jpg (85515 bytes)
Remington No. 1 (Herkimer)

1876_Remington_Typewriter_Ad_125_OM.JPG (25566 bytes)
1876 Ad for Remington's Sholes & Glidden, $125

1888 Remington Scientific American Transverse Section OM.JPG (26096 bytes)
1888 Scientific American Illustration, Transverse Section of Remington. Notice key,  horizontal lever, vertical rod and wire, and type-bar swinging toward underside of platen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National_typewriter_x.jpg (68639 bytes)
1889 National Typewriter

Upstrike Typewriters with Single Keyboards
~ Remington No. 2 ~ Caligraph ~ Other ~

The Remington No. 2, introduced in 1878, typed both lower and upper case letters.  Each key on a Remington No. 2 upstrike typewriter is attached to a long horizontal lever. Also connected to the lever is one end of a vertical wire, the other end of which is attached to one end of a type-bar. The opposite end of the type-bar carries the type (both an upper case letter and a lower case letter). When the operator depresses a key, this forces down the attached horizontal lever, pulls down a vertical wire, and hence pulls down one end of a type-bar. The type-bar pivots, and the end with the type swings upward, hitting the ribbon, paper, and platen from below. In order to type an upper case letter, the operator touched a shift bar.  At rest, the type-bars hang downward and form the periphery of a vertical cylinder.

1878 Remington No. 2 front OM.JPG (45841 bytes)
1878 Remington No. 2. Qwerty Keyboard

1894 Remington No. 6 upstrike northoid OM.jpg (17107 bytes)
1894 Remington No. 6

Mares (1909, pp. 58-59) states that "The No. 2 Remington seemed for a long time to be all that could be looked for in a typewriter. Considerably over 100,000 machines of the No. 2 model were sold. Many of them are in constant and heavy use to-day." The No. 2 and succeeding Remington typewriters had a single keyboard, that is, a single key for each letter and a shift key to switch between lower case and capital case letters. While the No. 2 had both capital and lower case letters, the No. 4 had only capital letters.

Numerous other upstrike machines with a single keyboard were produced by Remington's competitors. These include the single keyboard version of the International Typewriter (1889), the Densmore Typewriter (1891), the Rem-Sho Typewriter (1896)/Fay-Sholes Typewriter (1901), and the Fox Typewriter (1898). A photo in the May 1900 issue of The Typewriter and Phonographic World shows 40 Densmore typewriters in use in an office at the Fred Macey Co., a furniture producer in Grand Rapids, MI. {To be added:  Monarch, photos of additional upstrike brands}

On the single keyboard International, each key controlled two type-bars, for example, one type-bar with an upper case "E" and the other with a lower case "e." When the operator depressed the shift key, the cylindrical set of type-bars rotated so that the upper case type-bar took the position of the lower case type-bar.

The National Typewriter (1889) has two shift keys that move the keyboard and type basket forward and backward so that each regular key is used to type both the upper and lower cases of a letter as well as a number or symbol. The National was smaller and lighter (13 lb.) than the typical upstrike machine, and we have not seen evidence that the National had significant sales to offices or business schools.

The American Typewriter (1901) is a relatively simple upstrike machine. Each key is connected by a rod to the corresponding type. When a key is struck, the rod pivots, and the type strikes the underside of the platen. {Add photo}

Remington_No._2_typewriter_adv.jpg (153575 bytes)
 Remington No. 2 ad (MBHT)

Caligraph No. 2 top carriage down OM.jpg (33118 bytes)

Top of Caligraph No. 2 Upstrike Machine with Carriage Down
Caligraph No. 2 carriage up OM.JPG (16482 bytes)
Top of Caligraph No. 2 Upstrike Machine with Carriage UpFanny_Bindon_Bailey_Clerk_CGS_Office_NOAA_B.A.Colonna_Albrum_theb3395_OM.JPG (32596 bytes)
Fanny Bindon Bailey, a clerk at the US Coastal and Geodetic Survey Office, lifts the carriage of her Remington No. 2 to read what she has typed.  
NOAA BA Collonna Album theb3395
Dvorak keyboard OM.JPG (22125 bytes)
August Dvorak's 1932 Keyboard

1902 Densmore No. 5 OM.jpg (69280 bytes)
Densmore No. 5, 1903

Fay-Sho_No._4_OM.jpg (23812 bytes)
Fay-Sho No. 4

1881 Caligraph No. 2 front jkl OM.jpg (41348 bytes)
Caligraph No. 2, 1881

Caligraph No. 2 side 2 jkl OM.jpg (32011 bytes)
Caligraph No.2, 1881 

MBHT_Caligraph_image.jpg (367634 bytes)
Caligraph ad (MBHT)

1889 New Yost left northoid OM.JPG (15322 bytes)
New Yost, 1889

1907_Chimpanzee_at_Yost_Typewriter_OM.JPG (50403 bytes)
Yost

MBHT_Yost_and_circular_ink_pad.jpg (98773 bytes)
Yost circular ink pad

Yost Type-Bars OM.jpg (27214 bytes)
Yost Type-Bars

Upstrike Typewriters with Full Keyboards
~ Caligraph ~  Smith Premier ~

A typewriter with a full keyboard has a separate key for each upper case letter, lower case letter, number and symbol.

The Caligraph (1880): With the exception of the No. 1, which has only capital letters, the Caligraph has separate keys for the upper and lower cases of each letter. The lower case keys, numbers, and symbols are located in the center of the keyboard; the upper case keys are located to the left and right sides. In front of the keys is a sloping shelf; inside this part of the machine are levers that transmit the movement of the keys to the type-bars. The sloping shelf in front of the keyboard was dropped when the company began marketing the New Century Caligraph in 1898.

In 1888, Caligraph claimed that 20,000 and then 30,000 of its machines had been sold since 1880. Just one year later, Caligraph began to claim that 100,000 of its machines had been sold since 1880, and Caligraph continued to make this claim through 1892. The Caligraph was used in offices, but Mares (1909, p. 76), referring to Caligraphs with both upper and lower case type, reports that "the Caligraph was too large and unwieldy an instrument to secure the highest degree of popularity."

Other upstrike typewriters with full keyboards include the Yost (1887), Smith Premier (1889), full keyboard version of the International (1889), and Hartford (1894). Unlike the Smith_Premier_No._4_keyboard_OM.JPG (33117 bytes)Caligraph, these machines generally had double keyboards, that is, two parallel keyboards. A Smith Premier No. 4 keyboard is shown at the right. In order to type upper case letters, the operator simply moved her hands to the upper bank of keys. 

The Duplex Typewriter (1894) was a full keyboard machine. It had duplicate sets of keys for the lower-case alphabet, one set for each hand. It 1895_Duplex_Typewriter_from_Sten_01.95.jpg (164155 bytes)was designed so that the operator could print two characters simultaneously, one with each hand. The operator could simultaneously print any lower case letter and (i) any lower case letter, (ii) any upper case letter, or (iii) any punctuation mark.  The operator could also simultaneously print any upper case letter and any punctuation mark. Advertisements claimed that an operator could type 50% faster with the Duplex than with any other typewriter.  Although the layout sounds improbable, the machine was still on the market in 1898. The illustration to the right is from The Stenographer, Jan. 1895.

While most typewriters used ribbons, Yosts use direct inking of the type faces, which rest against a circular ink pad. And rather than hanging down and swinging up, Yost type-bars perform a grasshopper jumping movement. The end of the type-bar with the type jumps out to the center of the cylinder formed by the type-bars (see illustration to right) and then moves straight up to the platen, striking the paper through a square hole that assures alignment.

Mares (1909, p. 50) reports that "given an average all round class of general work, the use of the shift key machines is to be preferred: but where figures and capitals follow in frequent succession, as in accounts and tabular work generally, then very much is to be said in favour of the double keyboard arrangement."

Caligraph No. 2 label OM.jpg (13129 bytes)

MBHT_1890_Caligraph_3_image.jpg (398173 bytes)
Caligraph No. 3, 1890 ad (MBHT)

Man with Caligraph Vancouver c. 1912 A04602 Y.JPG (33432 bytes)
J. H..Field with Caligraph at Alexander St. Branch of Canadian Pacific Railway Telegraph Office, 1912?
City of Vancouver Archives, SGN 1552.

MBHT_Smith_Premier_2_typewriter.jpg (72656 bytes)
Smith Premier No. 2 (MBHT)


Smith_Premier_No._2_ad_300K_in_use_OM.JPG (65980 bytes)
Smith Premier claimed that 300,000 machines were in use in 1907

Washington 1900 Girl with 1895 Smith Premier No. 2 125 OM.JPG (71456 bytes)
Flora Holmes, daughter of Capt. Wm. Holmes of Steamboat Columbian, at Smith Premier No. 2, Dawson, Yukon Territory, 1900.
Univ. of Washington, Manuscripts, Special Collections, Univ. Archives, Meed 246.

1889 International Double Keyboard OM.JPG (23469 bytes)
 International, 1889



1880 1883 Hammond No. 1 OM.jpg (33615 bytes)
Hammond No. 1, 1884

1890_Hammond_No._1_Ideal_Keyboard_OM.jpg (205124 bytes)
Hammond No. 1 with Two-Piece Type-shuttle, 1890

1895 Hammond No. 2 OM.jpg (47547 bytes)
Hammond No. 2, 1895

1905 Hammond No. 12 side OM.jpg (32847 bytes)
Hammond No. 12,
1905

Hammond Type Shuttle OM.JPG (12636 bytes)
Hammond Type-Shuttle

Hammond Single-Element Typewriter 

The Hammond Typewriter was introduced in 1884. E. H. Beach, Tools of Business, 1905, states that "The first official public appearance of the Hammond was at the New Orleans Centennial Exposition in 1884-85, where it came in competition with the Remington and the Caligraph, and won the Gold Medal." Hammonds do not use type-bars. Rather, all the type is on a C-shaped rubber type-shuttle. (See illustrations at bottom left and at right. On the No. 1, the type-shuttle is in two pieces. See illustration at left.) When a key is struck, the type-shuttle rotates so that the desired letter is positioned in front of the paper. A hammer located behind the paper then moves forward and, from the rear, drives the paper against the ribbon and the type. See image top right, which shows the rear of the machine and the "hammer." Over 100 different type-shuttles were available for the Hammond, and the operator could easily change fonts and languages. In 1888, Hammond also advertised metal faced type-shuttles for use in typing manifolds, or multiple carbon copies. In 1887, Hammond advertised that its cumulative sales exceeded 4,000 machines. 

The top three machines to the left and the top machine in the 1915 image to the right have Hammond's curved Ideal keyboard. The second machine to the right has Hammond's Universal keyboard. The Universal keyboard was set up with the QWERTY arrangement, but the type-elements and the finger pieces on the keys could be changed to accommodate other keyboard arrangements.  

The Hammond No. 2, which was introduced in 1895, was advertised as being "For all regular mercantile, manufacturing, and professional work."  It weighs 19 lb., including its wood case.  The Hammond No. 3, which was introduced in 1896, was like the No. 2 but had a line length of 11.3" rather than 8.5".

In 1900, Hammond was also selling an aluminum No. 2 designed for travelers, as well as Models 3 through 8. The No. 4 and No. 5 were like the No. 2 but had special features.  The No. 4 printed fewer characters per inch, to make documents easier to read, and was aimed at people who would read their texts out loud.  The No. 5 printed Greek letters. The No. 6 through No. 8 machines were wide-carriage typewriters aimed at commercial and government offices.  The 16"-carriage Model 6 was marketed to banks and insurance companies.  The 20"-carriage No. 7 was marketed to "banks, railroads, steamship companies, insurance companies, government departments, and other large commercial interests, for the marking of abstracts, wide tabulated matter, financial reports, etc." The 30"-carriage No. 8 was intended for the "largest and most intricate tabulated work, statistical tables, etc." (Quoted in ETCetera, Issue 17, Dec. 2001, from a 1900 catalog.) The fact that Hammond produced wide carriage machines intended for use in offices supports other evidence indicating that Hammonds were used in some offices, although we have not seen them in early office photographs, and the wide carriage models are now rare.  Hammond introduced the No. 12 in 1905 and the Multiplex, which had two shuttles, in 1913. 

Early Hammond advertisements claimed that typists using Hammonds had won numerous typing speed contests. Hammond machines sold well and were produced until 1927. 

Machines based on the Hammond design were sold under the Varityper name from 1927 until the 1970s. Vari-Typers were not ordinary typewriters but composing machines that made professional looking camera-ready masters for offset (photo-lithographic) duplication. As on the Hammond, one could easily change the type-shuttles on the Vari-Typer to type in different fonts and languages. The Vari-Typer added right justification (1937), variable letter spacing (1947), and variable line spacing (1953).  For further information, see our exhibit on Special Purpose Typewriters.




1890_Hammond_No._1_back_showing_hammer_OM.jpg (209802 bytes)
Rear view of Hammond No. 1, 1890. Part No. 14 is the hammer.


1915 Hammond Catalog OM.JPG (41159 bytes)
1915 Hammond Catalog

1891_1892_Daugherty_OM.jpg (94859 bytes)
Daugherty, patented 1891-92nderwood No. 5

MBHT_Wagner_Underwood_typewriter.jpg (103346 bytes)
Wagner Typewriter, predessor of the Underwood Typewriter (MBHT)

MBHT_Underwood_1_typewriter.jpg (95373 bytes)
Underwood No. 1 (MBHT)


Sun_2_typewriter_top.jpg (97382 bytes)
Sun No. 2 typewriter, 1902

MBHT_Smith_Premier_No._10_typewriter.jpg (211164 bytes)
Smith Premier No. 10 typewriter (MBHT)


Emerson_typewriter_OM.jpg (38354 bytes)
Emerson No. 3, 1910

MBHT_Emerson_Typewriter_No._3_75_c._1911.jpg (165677 bytes)
Emerson No. 3 ad c. 1911 (MBHT)

MBHT_Harris_visible_No._4_typewriter_c._1912.jpg (217934 bytes)

Harris Visible Typewriter No. 4, c. 1912 (MBHT)

MBHT_1918_Reliance_Visible_Typewriter_M_Ward.jpg (183478 bytes)
Reliance Visible Typewriter, 1918 brochure

Front Strike Visible Writing Machines
~ Daugherty ~ Underwood ~ Royal ~

On front strike typewriters, the type-bars strike in full view against the front of the platen. As a result, these are visible typewriters. 

The Daugherty Visible (1893)/Pittsburg Visible (1898) was the first front strike machine. It was not a practical office typewriter because its long type-bars made alignment difficult to maintain. Nevertheless, ads claimed Daugherty machines were sold to the US government, railroads, and other corporations. The keys and type baskets (type-bar assemblies) on the Daugherty and Pittsburg Visible could be replaced easily to permit typing in a different font or language. See photo top right. The Daugherty typewriter weighs 16 lb.

Front strike brands that were suitable for use in offices included the Underwood Typewriter (1895), Monarch Typewriter (1904), L.C. Smith & Bros. Typewriter (1904), Royal Typewriter (1906), Remington No. 10 Typewriter (1908), and Smith Premier No. 10 Typewriter (1908). The last of these still had a double keyboard. In 1910, Smith Premier advertised that 400,000 of its machines (including upstrike and front strike models) were in use. The Underwood No. 3, which had a wide carriage, was marketed as a Billing Typewriter. The standard size Underwood No. 5 weighs 30 lb. 

1909 LC Smith & Bros logo OM.jpg (35748 bytes)     Fox_Typewriter_decal.jpg (65482 bytes)
L.C. Smith & Bros. Typewriter Co. logo (left) and Fox Typeweriter Co. logo (right)

1899_Jackson_typewriter_ad_100.jpg (27471 bytes)The action of the Jackson Typewriter (advertised 1899) is graphically described by Rehr (1997, p. 80): "With types resting in an ink pad, the type-bars made each letter's printing surface do a somersault on its way to the platen. Each type-bar resembled an elongated pantograph, with the scissors action accomplishing the mechanical gymnastics."

{Add paragraph on Sun No. 2}

Royal sold flatbed and then conventional upright typewriters.  The flatbed Standard, No. 1, and No. 5 were introduced during 1906-11. A 1912 ad for the Royal No. 5 claimed that thousands were used in railroad, insurance, big corporation, and US government offices.  A 1914 ad for the Royal No. 5 stated that "3,500 of these machines [are] used by the United States Government--with many hundreds used by foreign Governments and State Departments--and more than 175,000 Royals [are used] in the strenuous 'grind' of the modern business world."  Royal introduced the full size Royal Grand in 1906 but sold it only briefly. The similar Royal No. 10 was introduced in 1914 and weighs 36 lb.

On the Emerson Typewriter (1907), the type-bars swung to the platen from the sides, half from the left and half from the right.

The Standard Folding Typewriter (1908), a 5.5 lb portable, was the predecessor of the Corona Typewriter (1912), which was also a folding portable. Production of the Standard Folding totaled about 27,000 machines during 1908-12, and production of the Corona totaled about 673,000 machines during 1912-41. (ETCetera No. 22, March 1993) Rehr reports that the Corona was the portable typewriter worldwide until the early 1920s, and that a large share was exported. The Corona's first major direct competitor, the Underwood Standard Portable, was introduced in 1919. (Ed Neuert, ETCetera No. 77, Mar. 2007.  (D. Rehr, ETCetera, Issue 11, June 1990)

{Add paragraphs on Harris Visible, Reliance, Remington Rand Noiseless}

Royal_Wide_Carriage_typewriter_OM.jpg (379234 bytes)  Royal Typewriter with wide carriage

Pittsburgh Visible No. 10 side OM.jpg (18223 bytes)
Pittsburg Visible No. 10, 1898
1898 Pittsburg No. 10 typebasket out OM.JPG (34802 bytes)
Pittsburg Visible No. 10, 1898, keys and type basket removed

Pittsburg_No._11_typewriter_Snook_Ames_Historical_Soc_x.JPG (204473 bytes)
Pittsburg Visible No. 11, 
advertised 1912.
Courtesy of Ames Historical Society

Monarch Typewriter Postcard.JPG (14722 bytes)
Monarch Typewriter, Postcard, Postmarked 1909

  1901 1908 Royal OM.JPG (22239 bytes)

Royal Standard, 1906


Carlotta Chiwiwi Dictating, Royal flatbed typewriter, c. 1910
Denver Public Library, Western History Collection, 00171063

1914 Royal No. 10 OM.JPG (33481 bytes)
Royal No. 10, 1914

1920 Corona sticker OM.JPG (29388 bytes)
Corona, 1920

1953_Remington_Rand_Noiseless_Typewriter_LIFE_Photo_Archive.jpeg (106527 bytes)
Remington Rand Noiseless Typewriter. 
Photo dated 1953 courtesy of LIFE Photo Archive

MBHT_Oliver_typewriter_after_1900_award.jpg (175368 bytes)
Oliver No. 2 typewriter, image c. 1900

Oliver_1_type-bar_illust_OM.JPG (33160 bytes)
Oliver Type-Bar

1912 Oliver No. 7 type-bars OM.jpg (32597 bytes)
Oliver No. 7 type-bars

1896 Oliver No. 2 northoid OM.JPG (19670 bytes)
Oliver No. 2, 1897

Downstrike Visible Typewriters
~ Oliver ~ Courier ~

The Oliver Visible Typewriter (1893) is a distinctive downstrike visible typewriter with a double shift key. Half the inverted-U-shaped type-bars are nested over the carriage on each side of the machine. They strike downward on the top of the platen. Oliver typewriters excelled at stencil cutting, could be used to produce as many as twenty carbon copies, and were widely used in offices. The No. 2 model (1896-1900), which was sold with dark green paint or nickel plating for $95, was the company's first commercial success; 30,000 were sold by the time the No. 3 was introduced. (Peter Weil, ETCetera No. 77, Mar. 2007) In April 1900, Oliver claimed "22,000 converts in thirty months." More than 1 million Olivers were produced in the US during 1893-1926, and they were produced in England after US production ceased. Around 1903, an Austrian company began production of the Courier under a license from Oliver.

The photograph top right shows a public stenographer using an Oliver typewriter c. 1900. In 1890, it was reported that "So dependent have the merchants become upon the type-writer that in no less than ten of New York's hotels type-writer operators find a profitable business in doing the correspondence of guests." (Catalogue of the Albany Business School, Albany, NY, 1890, p.28) Harper's New Monthly (June 1898, p. 145) tells of a public stenographer whose price for typing a dictated letter was 15 cents.

Until 1910, the Oliver was $100. A 1914 ad for the Oliver No. 3 stated that "Starting in a small way in 1910, our direct-to-the-user plan of selling typewriters [at a lower price] met with immediate response. Over 15,000 of our Model No. 3 Olivers are today giving supreme satisfaction."  In 1914, the Oliver No. 3 was sold direct for $58.50. Also in 1914, the company stated that its machines were "used in 183 different railroad offices. Two of the largest mail-order houses in the world each use over 1,000." One of those mail-order houses was Sears, Roebuck & Co.  See photo to right.

The Oliver No. 7 weighs 29 lb.

1900s Public Stenographer with Oliver OM.jpg (16614 bytes)
Public Stenographer using Oliver, c. 1900

1907_Oliver_ad_OM.JPG (78534 bytes)
1907


Order_Entry_Dept_Sears_Roebuck__Co_Chicago_c._1913_NMAH.jpg (55145 bytes)
Order Entry Dept., Sears, Roebuck & Co., Chicago, IL, c. 1913, using Oliver typewriters.
National Museum of American Art, 
J. A. Juley & Son Collection

1903 Courier OM.JPG (27321 bytes)
Courier, based on Oliver No. 3

Original Prices of Upstrike, Hammond, Front Strike and Oliver Typewriters

Typewriter
# = upper case letters only
Year Price
* = after discount for cash
  Upstrike  
Sholes & Glidden#
Remington No. 1#
No. 2
No. 2
No. 2
No. 2
No. 4#
No. 4#
No. 4#
No. 5
No. 6
No. 7
1874-76
1879
1879
1880, 1883
1885, 1891
1908
1879
1880, 1883
1885
1908
1908
1908
$125
$100
$150
$100
$95
$97.5
$100
$80
$75
$105
$97.5
$100
Caligraph No. 1#
Ideal No. 1#
No. 1#
No. 2
Ideal No. 2
No. 2
No. 2
Ideal No. 2 (wide carriage)
No. 3#
Ideal No. 3#
No. 3
No. 3
No. 4
No. 4
1880-82
1882
1885-92
1880-81
1882
1885-92, 1908
1897
1882
1880
1882
1890-92
1908
1897
1908
$60
$70
$70
$80
$85
$85
$82.5
$90
$65
$75
$100
$97.5
$95
$97.5
Yost
New Yost No. 1
1890
1892
$100
$95
Smith Premier No. 1
No. 1
No. 2
No. 2 (76 char., 7.25" line)
No. 3 (84 char., 12" line)
No. 4
No. 4 (76 char., 7.25" line)
No. 5 (84 char., 9.5" line)
No. 6 (84 char., 16" line)
1891
1908
1908
1899
1899
1908
1899
1899
1899
$95
$97.5
$97.5
$100
$107.5
$100
$102.5
$107.5
$110
Densmore
No. 1
No. 2
No. 4
No. 4
No. 5
1893
1908
1908
No. 4 was new
1908
No. 4 was new & 1908
$100
$95
$100
$100
$97.5
$102.5
National 1890-95 $60
Hartford No. 1 1897 $60
Manhattan A or B
No. 9
Not specified
1904
1904
1908
$50
$75
$60 & $75
American No. 5
No. 7
No. 8
No. 8
1901-04
1903-06
1909-10
1913
$40
$50
$35
$50
New Century No. 5
No. 6
1908
1908
$97.5
$100
Fox No. 4
Fox
1901
1908
$105
$97.5
Rem Sho No. 3
No. 4
Fay Sholes No. 6
No. 7
1908
1908
1908
1908
$97.5
$97.5
$97.5
$97.5
Jewett No. 2
No. 3
No. 4
No. 5
1908
1908
1908
1908
$95
$100
$97.5
$100
  Hammond  
Hammond No. 1
No. 1
Hammond Card Cataloger (Library Bureau)
No. 2
No. 2 (8.5" line length)
No. 2 (8.5" line, aluminum with travel case)
No. 3 (11.3" line)
No. 4 (8.5" line, fewer characters/inch)
No. 5 (8.5" line, special features)
No. 6 (16" carriage)
No. 7 (20" carriage)
No. 8 (very wide carriage)
No. 12
No. 12
Multiplex
1886-88
1890
1890
1898, 1908
1900
1900
1900
1900
1900
1900
1900
1900
1907
1908
1916
$100
$96.90
$100
$95
$100
$135
$110
$100
$110
$120
$150
$180
$97.50; $60 after $37.50 school discount
$95
$100
  Front Strike  
Daugherty
Pittsburgh No. 10
1896-98, 1908
1908
$75
$75
Jackson 1899 $100
Sun No. 2
Visible
1902-05
1902
$40
$22.50 (Sears)
Underwood No. 3 14"
No. 3 20"
 No. 3 wide
No. 4
No. 4
No. 5
No. 5
Standard Portable
early 1900s
early 1900s
1909
early 1900s
1904
early 1900s, 1910
c. 1910, 1917
1922
$112.50-$115
$150
$125
$97.50-$100
$87.75*
$102.50-$105
$100
$50
Royal Standard
No. 5
Grand
No. 10
1906-09
1911-14
1909
1914-15
$65
$75
$100
$100
Remington No. 10
Remington Portable
7 Remington Portable Models
1909-10
1927
1936
$100
$60
$37.50-$79.50
Pullman 1909 $26.35 (Montgomery Ward)
L.C. Smith & Brothers No. 1
No. 2
No. 3
Date unknown, prob. 1905-10
"
"
$97.50
$100
$105
Triumph Visible
Burnett
1908
1909
$65
$22.95 (Sears)
Emerson
Emerson No. 3
Emerson
1909-10
c. 1911
1913
$50
$75
$49.28*
Standard Folding
Corona Folding
1909-10
1914-17
$50
$50
Monarch No. 3A
No. 3F very wide
c. 1912
c. 1912
$100
$152.5
Harris Visible 1912-14
1915
$39.80 (Sears)
$44.5
Smith No. 2 Standard Visible 1914 $37.4
Pittsburg Visible No. 11
Pittsburgh Visible No. 12
Pittsburgh Visible No. 12
Reliance Visible
Reliance Visible
Reliance Visible
1911
1912
1913
1916
1920
1922
$57.5
$57.5
$65
$48.5 (Montgomery Ward)
$57
$53.75 (Montgomery Ward)
Molle
1918-20
$50
  Oliver  
Woodstock
Oliver
Oliver with long carriage
Oliver
Oliver
No. 3
No. 5
No. 3
No. 9
No. 9
No. 9
No. 9
No. 11
No. 12
1898
c.1900
c. 1900
1901
1908
1908
1910
1914
1917-18
1919
1920
c. 1922
1922
1922
$60 (Montgomery Ward) (only 19 made)
$95
$105
$87.50*
$100
$97.5
$100
$58.5
$44.1*
$57
$64
$55
$75
$75d

MBHT_1908_Monarch_wide_carriage_typewriter_adv.jpg (153061 bytes)
Monarch Typewriter No. 3 with wide carriage, 1908 ad (MBHT)

Wide Carriage Typewriters

Many brands of office typewriters were offered with wide carriages for use in typing on wide sheets of paper, including business forms. Some typewriters were offered with interchangeable carriages of different lengths.

MBHT_1911_Underwood_3-18_inch_carriage.jpg (212163 bytes)
Underwood Typewriter No. 3 with 18" Carriage, 1911 brochure (MBHT)

MBHT_1911_Underwood_3-26_inch_typewriter.jpg (201871 bytes)
Underwood Typewriter No. 3 with 26" Carriage, 1911 Brochure (MBHT)

MBHT_1911_Underwood_coin-op_typewriter.jpg (167253 bytes)
Underwood Coin-Operated Typewriter, 1911 brochure (MBHT)

Coin-Operated Typewriters

According to a December 1934 article in Automatic Age, coin-operated typewriters were designed for use by travelers at hotels but were soon installed in "libraries, YMCAs, YWCAs, nurses homes, university districts, boats, trains, department stores, clubs, and various other places equally profitable." This same article announced the introduction of the Type-O-Meter by the General Coin-Automatic Co., San Francisco, CA. This device had been test marketed in a few cities during the preceding two years. The Type-O-Meter "consists of a small and compact steel box which is attached to the right side of a standard typewriter in which is located a time controlled locking mechanism that permits use of the typewriter for half an hour upon depositing of a ten cent piece." According to a January 1933 article in the same magazine, coin-operated typewriters had recently been installed in some German post offices.

Type-O-Meter_Coin-Op_Rem_Standard_OM.JPG (54537 bytes)
Coin-Operated Type-O-Meter attached to a Remington Standard. In 1935, the manufacturer of the Type-O-Meter offered a limited number of these meters, complete with Remington Standard typewriters, for a promotional price of $65. The price suggests that perhaps the typewriters were rebuilt rather than new.







MBHT_1911_Underwood_electric_carriage_return_typewriter.jpg (151564 bytes)
Underwood Typewriter with Anderson Electric Carriage Return Typewriter, 1911 (MBHT)


1924_Woodstock_Electrite_xa1.jpg (60586 bytes)
Woodstock Electrite, 1924

1925 Remington Electric ad.jpg (61159 bytes)
Remington Electric, 1925




MBHT_Burroughs_electric_carriage_typewriter_adv.jpg (490989 bytes)
Burroughs Electric Carriage Typewriter, 1934 ad (MBHT)

cb000193 1936 Burroughs Electric Carriage Typewriter OM.JPG (22811 bytes)
Burroughs Electric Carriage Typewriter, 1936
Charles Babbage Institute, Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Burroughs Corp. Collection, cb000193.

Electric Typewriters
~ Woodstock ~ Remington ~ Electromatic ~

A 1930 discussion of electric typewriters explains that "On a hand-operated machine the operator must furnish the power to operate the type bars, the line spacer, the back spacer, the carriage return, the shift keys, and the shift lock. On the motorized machine the operator touches a key to indicate the operation to be performed, and the power to perform the actual operation is supplied by an electric motor. On some machines, the motor actuates the type bars only; on others the power is applied to all of the operations of the machine as described above." (American Technical Society, Practical Business Administration, Vol. IX, 1930, pp. 70-71.)

The Cahill, essentially an electric version of the Remington No. 2, was introduced in 1899. The sub-levers, spacebar and line spacer were electrically powered. Few of these machines were produced. 

The Blickensderfer Electric was introduced in 1902. Rotation of the type-wheel, backspacer, line spacer, and margin stop were powered by an electric motor.  It was $125.  It is reported that the machine was marketed for 15 years. (ETCetera, No. 33, Dec. 1995)

The German Mercedes Electra typewriter was marketed in 1921. The similar Woodstock Electrite, which had a small "outboard" motor, was introduced in 1924 and was still advertised in 1928. On both machines, only the type-bars and shift keys were powered by the motor. The carriage return was manual.

The Remington Electric was introduced in 1925; the type bars, shift keys, shift lock, tabular key, back spacer, line spacer, and carriage return were all powered by a rotating cylinder driven by an electric motor. The typewriter was based on the Remington No. 12.  The motors were made by the North East Electric Co. Only 2,500 of these machines were produced. Remington Electrics could be connected in series; an operator would type on the first machine and the other machines would repeat the actions simultaneously. 

In 1927, electric Vari-Typers were introduced. The motor supplied the power to drive the hammer forward against the type and to advance the carriage, while the rest of the machine remained manual.

The North East Electric Co.'s Electromatic Typewriter (1929/30) was based on the same patents as the Remington Electric. The Electromatic was $250. (R. Sobel, IBM, 1981, p. 82)  This business was then spun off as the Electromatic Typewriter Co.  In 1933, International Business Machines (IBM) purchased the Electromatic Typewriter Co. and introduced the IBM Electromatic. The machine was $225. IBM introduced the IBM Electric Hektowriter c. 1938; other early IBM electrics were the Toll Biller, Manifest Writer, and Automatic Formswriter. Because the type-bars struck with more force than was possible with a manual typewriter, the IBM Electromatic was popular for filling out thick multi-page forms. 

Another early electric typewriter was the Burroughs Electric Carriage Typewriter (1932). The electric motor powered only the carriage return. A retrospective review of the fully manual Burroughs Standard Typewriter, to which the electric carriage return feature was added, gave it low marks. (Will Davis, ETCetera No. 76, December 2006)

Electric typewriters accounted for only a small share of all typewriters used in offices until after World War II. During the late 1930s, IBM sold around 6,000 electric typewriters annually and accounted for about 5% of total (manual and electric) new typewriter sales. (Sobel, p. 82) Because of the relatively long life of typewriters, IBM's share of all typewriters in use in offices in the late 1930s was miniscule.




 

1902_Blickensderfer_Electric_OM.jpg (45953 bytes)
Blickensderfer Electric, 1902

Blickensderfer_Electric_OM.JPG (88791 bytes)
Blickensderfer Electric, 1902






1933 IBM Ekectromatic OM.JPG (38953 bytes)
IBM Electromatic, 1935

IBM Electric Hektowriter OM.JPG (20964 bytes)
IBM Electric Hektowriter, c. 1938

1951_IBM_Electric_Typewriter_adx.jpg (34533 bytes)
IBM Electric Typewriter, 1951 ad

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