Antique Typewriters

The Martin Howard Collection


History

Sholes & GliddenThe first commercially successful typewriter came to market in 1874. It was invented by Christopher Lathem Sholes, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The development of this machine was backed by Carlos Glidden and was manufactured by Remington & Sons. This typewriter became known as the "Sholes & Glidden Type Writer". It is a beautifully decorated machine, covered in hand painted floral groupings.

As of 1890, only a few other typewriters had came onto the market, with moderate success. Things were about to change though, as the demand for the new writing machine grew dramatically during the 1890's. Many inventors tried their hands at creating an improved type writing machine and manufactures raced to keep pace with the global demand. During this discovery period, through trial and error, ingenuity and invention, hundreds of unusually designed typewriters appeared. Among them were machines with curved keyboards, double keyboards and no keyboards at all!

Typing Class

The standard big, black machines that you might be familiar with such as the Underwoods and Remingtons from the 1930s and 40s are the result of many years of mechanical evolution. It is to this wonderful age of invention and modification, that I and other collectors are so attracted. The diversity of design and the evolution of the machine provides a rich world for us to explore.

Read more about the history of typewriters in this article, "Collecting the World's First Typewriters".