Home Today Is Thomas Edison Invented The First Electric Style Typewriter In 1870

Thomas Edison Invented The First Electric Style Typewriter In 1870

typewriter day
(Image: Days of the Year)

”There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
~ Ernest Hemingway

Typewriters were originally conceived of in 1575 by an Italian printmaker, though it never saw production (and to be fair it wasn’t QUITE a typewriter, but the vestiges were there). In 1714 we have patents in Britain from a Mr. Henry Mill that seems to be a typewriter from the design and was explicitly described as being intended for that purpose. It appears that at some point the device was actually made, though it never went into production and no examples of it exist today.

Another example was designed in 1802 by Agostino Fantoni to help his blind sister writer, while Pietro Conti di Vilavegna invented yet another. But it wasn’t until 1895 that a model went into actual production with the Ford Typewriter. From there the world has never looked back, and typewriters started finding their way into private homes and places of business alike.

Some of the most important classics of the last 100 years have been produced on a typewriter, including the earliest examples of Stephen King’s work, Ernest Hemingway, name a professional writer who wrote a piece of any significance, and odds are high that they were written on a typewriter. Typewriter Day reminds us that while keyboards may be the key to modern literature, the world we live in was conceived on a typewriter.

  • Most typewriters were replaced by word processors and computers by the late 1980s, although they are still in use in developing countries, as well as in prisons due to the ban of computers.
  • The first typewriter ever invented was possibly by Englishman Henry Mill in 1714, for which he received a patent, and other early typewriters include inventions by Pelligino Turri, an Italian, in 1808 who also invented carbon paper, and William Austin Burt, an American who is most commonly credited for the invention of the typewriter, in 1829.
  • Thomas Edison invented the first electric style typewriter in 1870, which used an electrical input to type remotely, however the technology was not widely used until decades later.
  • The word ‘typewriter’ is generally considered the longest English word (10 letters), that only uses one row of the QWERTY keyboard layout, although a flower, ‘rupturewort’ can beat that record (11 letters).
  • The QWERTY keyboard was designed in 1873 to put common letter pairs far apart to reduce the chance of keys jamming and raise typing speed.
  • Most early typewriter would have a bell to warn the typist that the were nearing the end of the paper.
  • According to Mark Twain, his “Tom Sawyer” in 1876 was the first novel written on a typewriter.
  • The word ‘typewriter’ can be typed entirely using the top row of keys. It has been speculated that this may have been a factor in the choice of keys for ease of demonstration.
  • The longest word that could be typed using only the left hand is ‘stewardesses’.
  • The longest words that can be typed using only the right hand are ”lollipop” and “monopoly”.
  • As of 2005 Barbara Blackburn was the world’s fastest typist (Guinness Book of Records) and using the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard she can type 150 words a minute for 50 minutes and 170 words a minute over shorter periods.  She has a recorded speed of  212 words per minute, despite the fact she actually failed her typewriting exams at school.

Sources:

Days of the Year

Ten Random Facts

Mastering Typing

Knowledge-Sastha

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