Smithsonian museums continue to be closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. Read a message from our director, and check our website and social media for updates.

Beach's Typewriter Patent Model

Beach's Typewriter Patent Model

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
Downloads
Description
This typewriter patent model was used by Alfred Ely Beach of Stratford, Connecticut in his patent application that received patent number 15,164 on June 24, 1856. Beach’s patent was titled an “Improvement in Printing-Instruments for the Blind,” as the typewriter was meant to leave a raised letter on the paper, rather than an inked character. The machine could be modified to also print black letters with the addition of an ink belt. The typewriter printed on a single line on a slip of paper similar to ticker tape, with each typebar striking at a common center. The mother-of-pearl keys are arranged in three rows, with capital and lowercase letters each having separated keys. The typebars are contained in the veneered wooden box. The circular type basket is decorated with gilt-cast leaves.
Alfred Ely Beach was an inventor and publisher in New York during the mid -19th century. Along with his business partners Orson D. Munn and Salem H. Wales, Beach purchased Scientific American magazine in 1846. In 1847 Beach produced a precursor to this machine, which was eventually patented in 1856. This typewriter was never commercially produced. Beach is more commonly remembered as the inventor of New York City’s first subway, Beach’s Pneumatic Transit. Beach built a 300-foot prototype pneumatic powered subway in 1870 that was never expanded due to political roadblocks.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
typewriter
associated date
1856
maker
Beach, Alfred E.
Kirchof, C.
place made
United States: New York
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 12 in x 28 in x 20 in; 30.48 cm x 71.12 cm x 50.8 cm
ID Number
ME.312878
catalog number
312878
accession number
163196
Credit Line
James A. Wales, Jr., Richard Beach Wales, and Nancy Holbrook Wales
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mechanisms
Typewriters
Computers & Business Machines
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.

Comments

Add a comment about this object