Typewriter

October 4, 2017

Artist/Manufacturer: Corona

Date: c. 1913

 

 

 The first commercially produced typewriter in the United States debuted in 1874, and was demonstrated for millions at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.

 

Throughout the next several decades, typewriter keyboards were not standardized. A number of machines actually typed on the underside of the paper, so the typist could not see what he or she was typing. Some unusual models displayed semi-circular keyboards, double keyboards (one for each hand), keys arranged in a full circle (on a machine specifically for typing on large ledger pages) and various other configurations.

 

When it was first invented, the typewriter had no association with either gender. According to Thomas J. Schlereth in his book Victorian America: Transformations in Everyday Life, by the late 1880s typewriter advertisers and office managers claimed that women's nimble fingers were more suited to the typewriter.  In the 1870s, fewer than 5 percent of stenographers and typists were women; by 1930 that figure had risen to 90 percent.

Look for the typewriter in the library at the Physick Estate.

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