Among William Austin Burt’s numerous inventions were the typographer in 1829, which was a predecessor to the modern-day typewriter.
The “typographer” was the first constructed and operating typewriter anywhere according to Burt.
Burt searched far and wide for an appropriate name for his invention, but reluctantly settled with “typographer” which ultimately became “typewriter.”
It consisted of a wooden box and at one end there was a swinging lever for impressing.
The typeface letters were mounted on a short sector attached on the underside of the lever.
Pressing down with pressure imprinted the letter selected on the paper.
When a page was full it was torn off like a paper towel, as the paper was on a large continuous roll. One could print both upper and lower case letters.
The first writing machine Burt built did not live up to his expectation, so he built an improved version six months later that wasn’t much faster.
The improvements were mostly in looks and appearance for marketing the machine to investors.
While Burt’s typographer generated a lot of interest and did a very good job of typing clear and neat letters it did not become a commercial success.
The typographer was “born out of season” and was before its time, so no market was found for his typewriter or the patent in his lifetime.