Harris Visible Typewriter No. 4

This Harris Visible Typewriter No. 4 was produced by the Harris Typewriter Manufacturing Company of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, beginning in 1912 until around 1918. DeWitt C. Harris submitted a patent application on April 15, 1912 for improvements to a front-striking visible typewriter. The patent was granted patent number 1,115,311 on October 27, 1914 and mainly concerned the machine’s ease of assembly and repair. The patent described a typewriter with upper and lower actions that can be tested before the machine is fully assembled into the main metal frame of the typewriter. The three-bank keyboard is in the QWERTY layout, with left and right shift keys, shift lock, tabulator, back spacer, and marginal release. It has an 11-inch carriage and writes a line 9-inches long. While this model is Number 4, model numbers one through three never sold at retail and were likely early Harris prototypes. The Harris typewriter attempted to undercut the market, claiming to have all the features of a $100.00 machine, but selling for $39.80.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Harris Typewriter Manufacturing Company
overall: 8 1/4 in x 19 in x 14 in; 20.955 cm x 48.26 cm x 35.56 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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