typewriter    

typewriter

                              Click any typewriter
                                     to learn its history

typewriter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 typewriter

                               

 

 

 


typewriter

  

 

 

 

 

typewriter

typewriter


This site is devoted to the early history of the portable typewriter, from 1890 to 1930, illustrated by antique typewriters from my collection.

The portable typewriter industry was born at the beginning of the last century. Famous names like Smith-Corona, Remington, Underwood, Royal and Imperial, flourished as globally recognised brands, and collectively the companies sold tens of millions of typewriters all round the world, changing office working habits forever. Yet by the 1990s, all the famous names had been overwhelmed by the computer revolution, and one by one went into liquidation or were bought out.

Today, the famous name typewriter firms like Remington and Underwood are all gone forever. Yet curiously, the typewriters they made, their company logos, their instruction booklets, their magazine adverts, and even the disciplines they introduced to office life, remain behind like archaeological finds from a lost world. This site is my personal tribute to those companies, their entrepreneurs, inventors, engineers and salespeople, and my way of celebrating the passing of an invention that was an important part of my life as a writer and journalist.


Richard Milton
To explore the lost world of the portable typewriter, click any picture on this site.

P.S. If you like this museum, visit our sister site, 
The Ministry of Information

typewriterThe Beginning . . .     
.
This is the prototype of the first commercially successful portable typewriter, invented in 1904.  It was thought to be lost for 100 years but was recently found again through engineering detective work.  To read the story of its rediscovery.         Click here
                                                       . . . And the End

The era of the mechanical portable typewriter came to an end in 1957 when Smith-Corona launched the world's first electric portable machine.  To read about this revolutionary typewriter and its impact.  
                                                       
                                                             
Click here

In the decades between these two machines was a brief, glorious and crazy age in which some of the world's biggest corporations tried to persuade us to buy into their way of printing letters on the page.  Find out how successful they were by clicking on the  famous
   brands shown at left and right. 

Our Latest Addition . . . 

This beautiful machine is the Noiseless Portable 
of 1921. Silent typing was the holy grail of most
manufacturers - it was achieved by one of the
most prolific of all typewriter inventors -
Wellington Parker Kidder.  Find out how he did
it here. 

Click here >>>

typewritertypewritertypewriter

Click any typewriter
 to learn its history

typewriter

 

 

 

 

 

 



typewriter


 

 

 

 

 


typewriter


 

 

 


 

 

typewriter

The Portable Typewriter Website
http://www.PortableTypewriters.co.uk
Copyright Richard Milton 2003-2013
Last revised: 09 September 2014

[Home]
[Email] [links] [About Me] [Restoring]
Click here to view Awards page


Site Meter