The beginning of mechanical writing

Before the quantity production of typewriter was introduced, there had been several documented and undocumented trials to mechanize the process of writing:


It is unclear if the conception of the first mass- producted typewriter was invented by Peter Mitterhofer in Austria or by Sholes and Glidden in the U.S.A. At both machines the keyboard and the upstroke- mechanism is similar.
The patended one of these two typewriters is that one made by Remington and Sholes in 1964. Sholes and Glidden
It already showed the four- rowed "qwerty"- keyboard which is still known. But the writing was still hidden- to read the written lines you had to clap up the carriage. This early patent initiated a boom of inventions because every inventor had to avoid the valid patents.

Each manufacturer who was new on the market called his invention the chapest and the easiest way of typewriting. Arguments like the price, the weight and the durability were named to gain the customer. Because of this the inventors invented even newer and ewen more unusual constructions. Blickensderfer No. 5

This boom of inventions lasted up to the 1889`s, until the first visible writing typewriter was invented and built.

How important was the invention of the typewriter for social life ?

To explain this question it is important to know, that the early offices had been domitated nearly only by male workers, who copied written documents by using fountain- pens.
The womans`s role in this job- branch was very subordinated.
Only the office- wide introduction of the writing- machine gave the woman the chance to intrude into this male- dominated branch.

This was a very important topic for the emanzipation of the women. Moreover it opened the doors for a large amount of new jobs, e.g. the typewring teacher and the typewriter mechanic.

various tools used by a typewriter mechanic

The most important reason for buying a typewriter was the ability to realize a large amount of copies of a document by writing it only one time. One was easily able to standardise and rationalise the office- work. The office-wide introduction of the typewriter in combination with the early communication techniques the invention of the typewriter was the first great step to the direction of the age of communication that is so familiar to us today.

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