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1905 editorial: The typewriter “liberated” men too!

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Mary A. Saunders, businesswoman and typist.

Ironically, while extolling the accomplishments of a certain woman in business, a newspaper editorial from 1905 omitted her name. The subject was, in fact, Mary A. Saunders, a pioneering typist and “author” of QWERTYUIOP (she suggested switching the positions of the period and the y, yielding QWERTY – more here).

While much had been said about the role of the typewriter in the women’s liberation movement, the editorialist asserted that, ultimately, the typewriter freed men from menial tasks. “Have men thereby been thrown out of employment,” writes the paper, “or have they been released from the typewriter to do the increased work which the invention of the typewriter has made possible for an accelerated industrial system?”

Only men are named in the article.

Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois), January 22, 1905 –

© 2023 – 2022, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • technohist February 22, 2023, 9:07 pm

    This is a fine story. Yes, it is true we rarely talk about the impact the typewriter had on men. That is the make of an interesting observation: it gets us thinking about things previously unexamined or thought about.

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