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Somebody’s daddy…

The press was ever eager to find the first typewriter. Absent the aid of digital archives, they regularly announced the discovery of a “first” typewriter. Sometimes, a machine was announced, then forgotten, subsequently rediscovered, and then re-announced (e.g. the Burt Typographer). R.T.P. Allen’s patent model, made of wood and having the appearance of a toy, was also one of the “first” typewriters. Several newspapers proclaimed it the “Daddy Of All Typewriters.” In reality, it was patented in 1876, around the time of the Sholes & Glidden.

The Antikey Chop writes about Allen’s machine more extensively here.

Eagle River Review (Eagle River, Wisconsin), August 10, 1899 –

© 2023, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • T.Munk March 29, 2023, 11:41 am

    5 million typewriters existed in the US 1899? O:

    • Mark Adams March 29, 2023, 5:11 pm

      Yes, that is an interesting number. By one account, there were only a half million typewriters by 1894 (link). Now, five years later, five million? If we use Remington’s production numbers as a guide, the overall typewriter count would be less than five million. How much less, I don’t know. Production does grow somewhat exponentially, but likely not that fast.

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