John Pratt Pterotype Model

John Pratt Pterotype Model

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Description (Brief)
This pterotype model was invented by John Pratt that and is likely the pterotype design that received a British letters of patent number 3,163 on December 1, 1866. Pratt went on to exhibit his machine to the Society of Arts in London, and wrote about it in Scientific American, Volume 17, Issue 1. There are six keys on each side, which are used to move the six by six type matrix seen at the top of the machine, which was then struck by a small hammer to print the type on the paper. The model itself was manufactured by E.B. Burge of London, England. Pratt had begun developing a typewriter in the United States, but as a citizen of Alabama the secession of the Confederacy barred Pratt from acquiring patents and he sought to secure his design by acquiring British patents.
This is a typewriter patent model invented by John Pratt that received patent number 81,000 on August 11, 1868. The model itself was manufactured by E.B. Burge of London, England. Pratt had gone to England to secure patents for his typewriter designs that were unavailable to him as a Confederate citizen during the Civil War. After the Civil War ended, Pratt returned to the United States and secured this patent number 81,000, which was an improvement on his Pterotype design. The six-key maneuvering mechanism in the previous design was replaced by a three row keyboard with a unique letter placement.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Pratt, John
Burge, E. B.
Pratt, John
Burge, E. B.
place made
United Kingdom: England, London
overall: 12 in x 12 in x 12 in; 30.48 cm x 30.48 cm x 30.48 cm
overall: 12 1/4 in x 11 3/4 in; 31.115 cm x 29.845 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
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Work and Industry: Mechanisms
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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