Victor Index Typewriter

This Victor index typewriter was manufactured by the Tilton Manufacturing Company of Boston, Massachusetts around 1889. The typewriter lacks a keyboard, and is called an “index” typewriter because you used your index finger to select the letters. Bringing the selector over the character on the letter plate rotates the daisy wheel to the corresponding character. Pressing the inner left-hand key swung the hammer to strike the character, imprinting the type on the paper. The far left hand key served as the space bar. The daisy wheel went on to be used in typewriters and printers in the 1970s and 1980s. The black metal body of the typewriter notes that the typewriter contains two patents, patented on August 13, 1889 and August 20, 1889. These corresponded to patent number 409128 and patent number 409289, patented by Charles E. Tilton and Arthur I. Jacobs, respectively. Jacobs assigned his patent to the Tilton Manufacturing Company while it was still located in Portland, Maine. The typewriter is contained in a wooden carrying case.
Currently not on view
Object Name
overall: 4 1/4 in x 9 in x 13 in; 10.795 cm x 22.86 cm x 33.02 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Computers & Business Machines
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Work and Industry: Mechanisms
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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