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1877: “It makes the following characters…”

When I was a teenager, I purchased a $20 stereo for my car. This was the late 1980s and twenty bucks was a real bargain. The packaging displayed obvious features: volume control, fast forward, channel selection, tape player — which were the only features! Twenty bucks, after all.

When the typewriter was introduced in the 1870s, advertisers sometimes listed features that would seem painfully obvious to us today:

A bit obvious, though people may not have known what symbols and figures the machine made.

Some features were well worth extolling: “It does not run with a treadle, and requires no ‘winding up.’” Apparently, consumers did not like the treadle on the original Sholes & Glidden Type Writer (see here).

I’m guessing “Dinsmore” was disappointed with at least one aspect of the advertisement:

The Fall River Daily Herald (Fall River, Massachusetts), June 2, 1877 –

© 2023, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.

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