Yost 1 Typewriter

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This is a Yost Typewriter manufactured by the Yost Writing Machine Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut. The typewriter is the Yost 1, which was first produced in 1887. The machine is an upstriking non-visible typewriter, but unlike the Sholes and Glidden design before it, the types were held to the side of the machine rather than hanging below. Resting against an inkpad, the key would pivot out horizontally before rising up vertically to strike the faceted platen. The double keyboard consists of 8 rows of keys in the QWERTY arrangement, the three upper black keys are upper case letters, and the three lower white keys are lowercase characters. The top row of keys is symbols and the second row is the numbers.
George W.N. Yost worked with a variety of early typewriting companies including Remington and Caligraph before starting his own company. The Yost Writing Machine Company operated from 1887 until 1924, when it ended production of its last typewriter model, the Yost 12. The September 30, 1895 New York Times obituary for George Yost reveals an interesting aspect of Yost’s later life. “Although a shrewd man of business, Mr. Yost had a tendency in his nature which led him into abstract speculation and made him a devoted Spiritualist.” The biggest example of Yost’s Spirtualist activities is a book entitled “Posthumous Memoirs of Helena Petrovna Blatatsky from the Spirit World upon the typewriter independent of contact under the supervision of G. W. N. Yost to bring the things of truth and affirm the continuity of life and activity of the soul immortal” which was composed on a new Yost typewriter during a séance in which noted Spiritualist Helena Blatatsky was claimed to have materialized.
Currently not on view
Yost Writing Machine Company
overall: 10 in x 12 in x 15 in; 25.4 cm x 30.48 cm x 38.1 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Southard of Bangor
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Work and Industry: Mechanisms
Computers & Business Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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