“Remington No. 1 Typewriter” Life Photo Archive, 1873. (Accessed February 8, 2011)

Quick Background:

Originally intended as a machine for the blind, the typewriter eventually became something more to American society. Printing had been around since the invention of the printing press around 1440 by Johannes Gutenberg. But the idea for a new machine had been around for a while, as in 1714, Queen Anne of England granted a patent to Henry Mill for an “artificial machine…for impressing…of letters singly or progressively…whereby all writings whatsoever may be engrossed in paper…so neat and exact as not to be distinguished from print.” 1

Christopher Latham Sholes created a writing machine in 1867 that is considered the ancestor to all standard typewriters thereafter. He presented it to E. Remington & Sons with Densmore and they began manufacturing as it was an idea that would “revolutionize business” according to Benedict Remington. 2 The first commercial typewriter was manufactured in 1873; the Remington No. 1 was very archaic. It only typed in capital letters and the user could not see the line they were typing.

  1. John Zellers, The Typewriter: A Short History, on its 75th Anniversary 1873-1948. (New York: The Newcomen Society of England,1948), 8-9.
  2. Ibid, 12.

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