The great fun in my life has been getting up every morning and rushing to the typewriter because some new idea has hit me.
Today (23rd June, 2018) is Typewriter Day, which celebrates this humble mechanical device and the amazing pieces of literature it has brought to us over the decades.
Typewriters were originally conceived of in 1575 by an Italian printmaker, Francesco Rampazzetto, who invented the “scrittura tattile“, a machine to impress letters in papers, which never saw production
In 1714, Henry Mill obtained a patent in Britain for a machine that seemed to be a typewriter from the design and was explicitly described as being intended for that purpose
Another example was designed in 1802 by Agostino Fantoni, who developed a particular typewriter to enable his blind sister to write, while in 1808 another Italian, Pellegrino Turri, invented a similar machine and also carbon paper to provide the ink for it.
In 1823 Pietro Conti di Cilavegna conceived a new model of typewriter, known as “tachigrafo” and in 1855, Giuseppe Ravizza created a prototype typewriter called “Cembalo scrivano” o “macchina da scrivere a tasti” (“Scribe harpsichord, or machine for writing with keys”).
But it was on 23 June 23 1868, that Christopher Latham Sholes, Samuel W. Soulé, James Densmore, and Carlos Glidden received the first patent for an invention called the “Type-Writer.”
After receiving it Sholes licensed it to Remington & Sons, the famous gunmaker, who began production and later developed the Remington Typewriter with the now standard Qwerty layout, designed in 1873 to put common letter pairs far apart to speed up typing by preventing jams