Until the dawn of the computer age, the constant clickety clack of typewriter keys was part of the mid-century office landscape.
While the concept of a typewriter dates back to at least 1714, the Sholes & Glidden Type Writer, which began production in late 1873, was the first commercial typewriter to appear on the American market (in 1874).
The first Sholes & Glidden was very decorative with numerous painted flowers and decals. It looked similar to a sewing machine, due partly to the fact that is was manufactured by the sewing machine department of the Remington Arms Company.
The odd-looking machine typed only in capital letters and introduced the world to the QWERTY keyboard which is still with us today. While Sholes & Glidden had limited success, its successor, the Remington, soon became a dominant presence in the industry.
|Antique 1906 Remington Standard, Bygrassdoll|
While basic typewriter functions remained the same throughout the years, the designs, colors and special features changed and grew with the times.
|The Oliver Standard Visible Typewriter, Lucca Bales Vintage|
|Olympia Progress typewriter with German keyboard, Anodyne & Ink|
|Olivetti Lexon 80 typewriter, Artyfactz|
I'm sure these early typewriter companies could not have imagined that their machines would one day be stripped of their keys to make jewelry, collage art and scrapbooking projects!
|Antique typewriter keys, The Old Time Junk Shop|
To start or add to a typewriter collection, Etsy is a great source for finding these relics of a (noisier) time gone by.