Writes Paul Robert in The Typewriter Sketchbook, “The Yankee is extremely rare.”1 And, indeed, it is. One appearing on eBay just sold for $2,500!
The Yankee was invented in the late 1800s by Robert Hawley Ingersoll, who also designed the Dollar. “Mechanically the Yankee and the Dollar are identical,” writes Robert, “But the Yankee had a slightly flatter, round dial with an indicator, making it slightly easier to use than the Dollar. For the rest it was identical: same wooden base, same metal wheel with rubber type, some hole for alignment in the wheel support, same clamp for hold the paper in place, same ink roller and primitive escapement.”
He adds that it is unclear as to which came first, the Dollar or the Yankee. (Note: An update is offered in this post.)
How rare is the Yankee? Well, I could find no images
or advertisements for it (and, boy, did I search), nor are many likely to have survived. The Yankee is a simple tin device. The Dollar is more common, but even that machine is quite rare. Congratulations to whoever laid hands on this Yankee!
Richard Polt directed me to this advertisement —
© 2015, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.