It’s National Typewriter Day, and typewriters are still a thing, even if they’re not quite as common as they once were.
But then one of the key people in the development of the typewriter wasn’t trying to make a device for everybody.
The man known as the “Inventor of the Typewriter” is Christopher Sholes of Milwaukee.
According to the National Typerwriter Museum, his device is the first typewriter that was produced in numbers – and introduced features like the QWERTY keyboard that were standard on 20th century typewriters.
But the typewriter is the product of a lot of people’s creativity and ingenuity.
Sholes wasn’t the only one who worked on his own device, for example.
He worked with a group of people over the course of a decade.
And while Sholes and his team started work around 1867, the idea of a typewriter is much older.
The most interesting story on this journey comes from Italy, in the very early 19th century.
Countess Carolina Fantoni da Fivizzano was going blind and could no longer write letters by hand.
Her friend Pellegrino Turri decided to build a machine for her where she could strike keys that would trigger metal arms to put characters on paper.
His device was built for accessibility, but as How Stuff Works noted, sometimes an invention that’s meant to help one person winds up being useful for everybody.
Red Letter Day zine had one heck of a story for this National Typewriter Day.
It’s about one of the biggest draws to the Pan Pacific International Expo in San Francisco in 1915, and I mean that literally.
The Underwood typewriter was 18 feet high, 21 feet wide and weighed 18 tons.
It took a team of people to type on, because one key was big enough to hold a sitting person.
Typewriters Were Originally Created To Help The Blind (Dictionary.com)
a curious story of the 14 ton Underwood Master Typewriter… (Red Letter Day zine)