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A Typewriter's Striking History
 

Dear 1Earth,
I bought this typewriter for about $15 at a garage sale five years ago.  I'd be interested to know more about its history the owner said he bought it in 1917, probably for the same price!  Do you know anything about old typewriters?

H.G.

Dear H.G.,
How times have changed! It's funny you should ask about an antique typewriter by writing an e-mail.  It seems that you have a Remington No. 10, and it has an interesting history.
The No. 10 was Remington's first "frontstrike" typewriter, which means the arms that print the letters (called "type bars" by typewriter people) strike the feeding roller from the front.  Such machines are also called "visible" typewriters, because they allow the user to see the work in progress.

Earlier Remington machines used the "upstrike" system.  The type bars struck the feeding roller from the bottom, so the writer's work wasn't visible.  The typist had to lift the carriage to see what he'd typed.

Frontstrike typewriters first appeared around 1895.  Remington had a vested interest in upstrike machines it had been producing them for 25 years so the company didn't start making the No. 10 until 1908.  Then it produced millions of the typewriters until the early 1920s.  Back then, the machines went for $100, but since Remington made so many, they're not worth nearly as much now.  The $15 you paid is probably about right.

 

 


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