Learn about Typewriter

Whilst a 1714 patent granted to the Englishman Henry Mill appears to be for a typewriter of sorts, it was not until the 19th century that the modern typewriter began to evolve. This was arguably Frenchman Xavier Progin's 1833 creation which was originally called 'Machine Kryptographique'. Several typewriters featured in the 1851 Great Exhibition which was held in London's Hyde Park. However, real success came later in the 1880's with Remington when they mastered the technical problems of production as well as successfully convincing a previously somewhat indifferent public. For the next hundred years, the typewriter became an indispensable tool for the office, and occasionally for the home. In first world countries it has been completely superceded by the personal computer, but in less wealthy countries its use continues, although at a declining rate. The major typewriter manufacturers were Adler, Remington, IBM, Imperial Typewriters, Olivetti, Olympia, Royal Typewriter Company, Smith Corona and Underwood.
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A Typewriter Polyglot. Mark Hammond. No. 12. New York . 1905, with wooden base

An Ettore Sottsass 'Valentine' Typewriter, Olivetti, late 1960's, red cased. (case clips missing)

A Bijou Typewriter, portable size. No case. Width 38 cm. (a/f)

An Olympia Typewriter, SM3 in case olive green Deluxe de Luxe

Ettore Sottsass Typewriter for Olivetti, red Abs plastic and other materials, 11 cm high, 34 cm wide, 35 cm deep, c1970s, Italy

Corona portable typewriter in case with original instruction book and spare ribbons. Provenance: Purported to have belonged to Errol Flynn's family in Tasmania

A Smith-Corona 'Super Speed' Typewriter, circa early 1940s, with maker's mark of L C Smith, USA, a fully restored ribbon typewriter in black. Height 25 cm. Width 43 cm. Depth 37 cm

A Remington Standard Typewriter No. 7 manufactured by Wyckoff, Seamans & Benedict, New York, U.S.A, Circa 1905

A large format Underwood standard typewriter circa 1915

A 1920s German AEG Mignon model 4 index typewriter in working condition complete with original case rare manufacturer's factory fault: the backspace key actually forward spaces 21 cm high, 35 cm wide x 33 cm deep

A 1950s Hermes 2000 typewriter with original case and manual 15 cm high, 32 cm wide x 35 cm deep

A 1930s Remington typewriter 27 cm high, 55 cm wide x 36 cm deep

A 1920s German AEG Mignon model 4 index typewriter in working condition complete with original case 21 cm high, 35 cm wide x 33 cm deep

An Italian Olivetti Typewriter 11 cm high, 33 cm wide, 35 cm deep

Antique Smith Premier number 1 typewriter 1888 model, with double key board, up strike & blind writer

Isometric set square, instructions of engineering draughtsmen, plus three typewriter IBM wheels

Vintage Royal black enamel typewriter, Royal Typewriter Co INC N.Y U.S.A. Good working order

two vintage portable typewriters incl simple Aristocrat and a Remmington Rand and some HMV Records

Remington portable, model 5, Australian made typewriter, with case

Early Corona folding portable typewriter No. 3, in carry case. Return spring broken. Width 24 cm

Hammond Multiplex typewriter, in original oak case. Mode in USA, #111180. Circa 1915

'Baby Rem' typewriter. By Remington, circa 1928. This is the rarer version to the 'Rem-Blick' portable model.

'Junior' typewriter, by E M Dover. Made in England. Note the action that has the movable key selector.