Columbia No. 2 Typewriter

This Columbia No. 2 typewriter was manufactured by the Columbia Typewriter Company of New York after 1886. The typewriter was invented by Charles Spiro, and covered by patent number 322,989 and 335,392. The Columbia typewriter was an index typewriter, meaning that the letters were selected with a pointer, manipulated by the index finger, and imprinted by pressing another key. The absence of the keyboard made the typewriter simpler to operate, but sacrificed speed and efficiency. The machine also had variable spacing, allowing each letter to take up a varying amount of space, for instance, an “I” take up less space than an “M.”
Currently not on view
Object Name
Columbia Type Writer Co.
overall: 6 1/4 in x 13 3/8 in x 4 1/4 in; 15.875 cm x 33.9725 cm x 10.795 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mechanisms
Computers & Business Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.