Samuel W. Francis Writing Machine

Description
This is a typewriter patented by Dr. Samuel Ward Francis of Newport, Rhode Island in 1857. The patent received number 18,504 and claimed the principal improvements of arranging the hammers in a circle, a common printing center, with a key operation similar in manner to that of a piano. The typewriter consists of a wooden box with attached mechanism for typing. The ivory keyboard is similar to a piano's and extends the length of the front, earning the writing machine the “Literary Piano” nickname.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1857
maker
Francis, Dr. Samuel Ward
place made
United States: Rhode Island, Rhode Island, Newport
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
bone, ivory (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 8 5/8 in x 25 3/8 in x 22 3/4 in; 21.9075 cm x 64.4525 cm x 57.785 cm
ID Number
ME*180060
catalog number
180060
accession number
21102
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mechanisms
Typewriters
Computers & Business Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Comments

Everyone keyboards now, but I had never seen this typewriter with an ivory keyboard until I was at the Newport Historical Society last weekend. I have written the first history of Katharine Gibbs School (1911-2011), the world famous institution that women to be productive and independent. I am sharing this image with my Facebook followers, on Twitter, and with Gibbs graduates, faculty, and staff on email

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