Cover Image Property of PUBLISHER
1994 cover scanned from my private collection


  • Beginnings
  • Early mass-production
  • Design improvements
  • The typewriter in Germany and Britain
  • Further developments
  • Collecting typewriters
  • Further Reading and Places to Visit

Title: SHIRE ALBUM: Old Typewriters, Book No. 293
Author/Designer: Duncan James
Format/Publication Date: TPB:1993
Publisher: Shire Publications Ltd., Princes Risbourough, UK
Language: English
Page Count: 32
Book Dimensions(ht. x w.): 8 1/4" x 5 3/4"
ISBN: 0747801932

SUMMARY- All interior photographs are black-and-white, but in this particular topic, that's not really important. You get tantalizing looks at a lot of different machines dating all the way back to the mid-1800s. It is cool to see where typing machines started and what they evolved to before electric typewriters took over. I learned to type in high school - one of the most useful courses I ever took - on an IBM Selectric. I didn't have an electric typewriter at home to practice on, however. My grandmother had an antique typewriter that still worked quite well, you had to press down firmly to get the striker with its letter to swing up to strike the ribbon and impress the letter onto your sheet of paper. If you typed too fast, the striker returning to position would collide and stick with the striker moving to impress the next letter, and you had to stop and carefully release them in order to continue. It was a serious workout for your fingers.

I really love that you get a list of further reading, and museums you can visit to see them for yourself.