A Proto-typewriter, 1857.

A Proto-typewriter, 1857.JF Ptak Science Books
Here we have a lovely attempt at what is close to being a typewriter (a “hand-printing machine”), found in the Journal of the Franklin Institute for June 1857.
The size isn’t given but my guess is that it would be about the size of foolscap paper, easily desk-top.
It seems fairly simple in a slightly complex way, and I can easily see where it would serve as a stop-gap implement between what came before and the typewriter.
The short article introducing the workings of the machine is surprisingly very readable, even though it is brisk and sharp.
It is just well done.It is difficult to see some of the annotations, even in the original, and even with a magnifying glass, but for that first indicator “H” you can find it just southward of the bell-like object (“M”, which turns out to be a handle for the paper roller), and “E” was another difficult one to find, and that one turns out to be the pivot in the center of the type circular.
In any event, the thing operates much like a typewriter, the lever “D” moved to the position of the letter needed, then pressed down, moving the type into place against the ink and the paper, which is loaded in rollers much like a modern typewriter.
Source: JF Ptak Science Books: A Proto-typewriter, 1857.

About Derwombat

My name is Rod Parham, Hot Metal Compositor. I was born in Adelaide, South Australia in 1947. Single with two children and a grandson. I Love History, Movies and Words.