Odd Inventions That Mark the Development of Typewriters

The idea for the creation of typewriters was first born in the 18th century. A few decades later, the first machine of this kind became a fact. That started a wave of innovations in the typewriting field – a number of which had a great influence over the development of hand-operated character printers. Some of the early typewriters are so different from the ones we know today, that they are definitely worth exploring.

Hammond 1

Also known as the Hammond Typewriter, Hammond 1 was released back in 1885. Created by James Hammond, the keyboard of the machine had a layout remarkably similar to that of a piano. Its type-shuttle could also be reset for practically any language. Still, loading a new piece of paper into the Hammond 1 was a real challenge. The price of the typewriter was incredibly high, since it was made from mahogany and its keys were from ebony.

Victor Indexing Typewriter

Produced in 1889, the Victor is one of the most unusual typing machines that has ever existed. It is also the very first daisy wheel typewriter in the world. That means that the typist had to first select each character from the wheel and to then push a button to print them onto paper. The typing speed the Victor offered was not impressive and the system it used was quite different from that of other machines on the market. Although it was often two or three times cheaper than most typewriters, it did not enjoy a commercial success and its production was discontinued a few years after its release.

Writing Ball

If you thought that it was impossible to make a fashion statement with a typewriter, you may quickly change your mind when you see the Writing Ball. This elegant machine was created in Denmark by Rasmus Malling-Hansen and it was released in 1865. The layout of its keys reminded of a ball and the typewriter itself was made mainly from brass. It combined elegance and efficiency and it had a great potential. The machine had 52 keys and their odd placement was supposed to make typing easier and faster. Nevertheless, the Writing Ball failed to challenge its competition even though it had some benefits over most other 19th-century typewriters. Still, it was used by many notable people, among which was also Friedrich Nietzsche. The philosopher ordered the machine in 1882 since he was losing his sight and thought a typewriter would make writing letters easier for him.

Keaton Music Typewriter

As the name suggest it, a music typewriter is a machine used for the typing of music. Instead of letters, the characters on its keys were music symbols. Music typing machines saw a rise during the 1900s and one of the most prominent examples of them was the Keaton Music Typewriter. Unlike most other typing machines of this kind, it had not one but two keyboard. The Keaton Music Typewriter was produced in 1953 and it cost a couple of hundred dollars. Today, it price is thirty times higher, as it is the case with most of the above-mentioned machines.