February

Sholes and Glidden Typewriter

Object: Sholes and Glidden Typewriter   Milwaukee Public Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Manufacturer: E. Remington & Sons   EMu user since 2003
Place: Ilion, New York    
Date of Creation: c.1873    
       

Sholes and Glidden TypewriterBetween 1867 and 1873 Christopher Latham Sholes, Samuel Soule, Carlos Glidden and Matthias Schwalbach, working in a Milwaukee machine shop, developed and refined an alpha-numeric mechanical writing machine. Initially designed with a piano style keyboard, the typewriter took several forms before production began. Production models used a unique hanging basket system of actuating arms connected to a bank of keys set in a peculiar, non-sequential keyboard. This unique QWERTY keyboard arrangement (still used to this day on all electronic devices), along with additional innovative features (inked ribbon, cylindrical platen and lever action shift function) borrowed from other inventors and incorporated into the Sholes & Glidden typewriter, made the machine practical for use in business and personal correspondence. From 1874-1880 E. Remington and Sons of Ilion, New York made mechanical and decorative improvements to the typewriter. They eventually acquired the patent and production rights under the Remington name and by 1900 mechanical writing became the American standard for all business and private communications.