The typewriter is a wonderful writing machine with a long history. Let’s have a look.
The history of the typewriter
The typewriter history can be traced back to as early as 1714 when Henry Mill laid the foundation of the early typewriters and designed a typewriting device. Henry Mill was issued the first such patent of its kind by the Queen of England.
In Europe, the Hansen writing ball was developed in 1965. Its commercial production began in 1870 and was used in Europe till 1909.
If we look at American history, William Austin Burt developed the first writing machine in 1828. Later, in 1867, Christopher Latham Sholes invented the first practical typewriter in Wisconsin.
The first commercial typewriter from Latham’s design was developed in 1873. The typewriter looked more like sewing machines as it was developed by the sewing machine department of Remington.
It had a qwerty keyboard and was a blind writer and wrote only in capital letters and did not have small letters. To date, we see the qwerty layout in computer keyboards. It had a carriage return mechanism and allowed letter spacing by the carriage movement.
Since it could not type small letters, the problem was solved by placing capital and lowercase of the same letter, on each bar, without increasing the number of typewriter keys. However, in 1878, the Remington model was introduced with the first shift keyboard layout.
In 1872, Thomas Edison developed the first electric typewriter. An electric motor powered the machine’s mechanical workings. In 1920, electronic typewriters were developed for use as office machines.
This paved the way for the introduction of the first commercially successful typewriter in 1961. By mid 20th century, typewriter machines were modified for use as a composing machine, for instance, the development of automatic controls to enable typing through remote signals.
This offered many advantages and led to the development of an effective business communication system through the integration of remote control typewriters and computers.
Here’s a great video on it: