Greene 2022

From Whiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Greene, Elizabeth B. Artifacts from Nineteenth-Century America. Greenwood, 2022.

43. Typewriter

As a matter of fact, the first known patent for such a machine was granted by Queen Anne on January 7, 1714, to an inventor named Henry Mill.

The 1714 p ent straightforwardly described the work of the “artificial machine,” but no record exists of the machine ever being built by Henry Mill. Later attempts at such a machine were made in Italy and other countries using harpsichord keyboards, which became known as “literary pianos.” Some of the early inventions were intended to aid people with visual impairments, which led to Louis Braille’s invention of the Braille alphabet and a machine that would emboss a page that could be “read” by the fingers instead of the eyes.

With the Industrial Revolution came the expansion of the business oper- ations as well as the explosion of telegraphy, which demanded a quick transcription of either the spoken word or a shorthand version of it. Court reporters and telegraphers were interested in obtaining a machine that could put down letters faster than a hand holding a …

Born in Mooresburg, Pennsylvania, in 1819, Sholes worked for a printer as a young man. Moving to Green Bay, Wisconsin, at the age of eighteen, he began working for his older brothers who owned and published the newspaper called the Wisconsin Democrat.

He had invented several devises during his career in the newspaper pub- lishing business, which included a newspaper addressing machine and a page-numbering device. But after he read about Pratt’s pterotype writing device in an issue of Scientific American in 1867, Sholes heartily embraced the idea of inventing a usable versi…

Sholes, Glidden, a machinist and clock-maker Mathias Schwalbach, and Samuel Soulé worked together on producing such a machine. The hulking machine they eventu- ally produced has been called a cross between a piano and a table. It was truly in the vein of a “literary piano” because it had black-and-white piano keys, which were pressed to type the letters. It drove type bars up to press the letters into the paper through an ink ribbon. The machine received a patent on June 23, 1868. It had six white keys and five black keys, and the patent claimed that this new design provided “a better way of working type bars, of holding the paper on the carriage, of moving and regulating the movement of the carriage, of holding and applying the inking ribbon, a self-adjusting platen, and a rest or cushion for the type-…

There were various models of the machine that were produced under the browbeating of James Densmore before the successful one was finally produced in 1874.

In the first place, the rude wooden keys contained in the first machine were replaced by metal rods with a thin brass button on which the letter or figure was cut and painted black .

The typewriter, which was called a “type writer” at the time, could type only uppercase letters. It was a so-called blind typewriter, which typed letters onto the reverse side of the paper, which could not be seen until the paper was removed.

By 1872, after more than fifty different models were produced, the Milwaukee group had a machine that essentially resembled the modern typewriter. Sholes invented a new design for the keyboard, due to the fact that the keys got jammed when common letters were typed. The original design arranged the keyboard in alphabetical order. This design, called the “QWERTY” keyboard, a name that derives from the left top row of letters, is still used today, though it is of course no longer necessary to prevent jamming.