Williams Typewriter

The Williams typewriter was produced by the Williams Typewriter Company from around 1891 until 1909, mostly from a factory located in Derby, Connecticut. John N. Williams received patent number 501753 on July 18, 1893 for his type-writing machine. Williams’s design served to correct the inability of a typists writing to be seen in the prevalent “upstriking machines” such as the Remington Standard. Williams’s solution was an innovative keystroke, where the key sat on an inking pad and raised itself up before springing forward to type on the paper. This innovative action wouldn’t allow for all the keys to be on the front of the machine, so there were typebars at the front and back of most William’s machines. This necessitated the upper part of the paper being pulled down into a basket below the type bars after it had been typed on, allowing only a few lines to be seen.
This machine does not fit the standard Williams design of front and back typebars, and does not have any visible branding. During the early 20th century, Williams was trying to design a typewriter with a full front typebar. A number of patents by Jerome B. Secor of Derby, Connecticut, were assigned to Williams during this period, many relating to “front-strike” machines. Secor later bought the Derby factory from Williams and produced several typewriter models, until the factory was purchased by Maxim Munitions Corporation in 1915. This may have been an early Williams front strike prototype.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Williams Manufacturing Company
overall: 4 1/2 in x 14 3/4 in x 13 1/2 in; 11.43 cm x 37.465 cm x 34.29 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Computers & Business Machines
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mechanisms
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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