Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Word of the Day -- Typographer

In honor of our parent company's first Kickstarter:

The typographer, America's first typewriter, was first invented and made by William Austin Burt.

It was patented on July 23, 1829, as U.S. patent No. 5581X. United States Patent Office documents describes Burt's American machine as "the actual construction of a type writing machine for the first time in any country".  It was the first practical typewriting machine ever made in America, although Pellegrino Turri had made one in Italy in 1808. The patent gave Burt the full exclusive rights to his new typewriter machine for 14 years, including vending or selling to others any or all of these rights as he saw fit, signed by President Andrew Jackson.
 All "type writing" machines, those that used letters of typeface, were generally given the name "typographer" from Burt's 1829 patent until 1874 by subsequent inventors that improved on Burt's machine.  The concept ultimately came to be called "The Type-Writer" in 1874.  The word stayed hyphenated until the 1880s. William Ozmun Wyckoff, president of the New York State Shorthand Reporters' Association in 1886, and founder of the Remington Typewriter Company, publicized the unhyphenated name "typewriter". It became very well known, and the public finally accepted this then as one word by 1919. Burt's typographer was eventually called a typewriter.

American typewriters have been recognized in all parts of the world as superior right from the beginning of the United States patents. There has been a tendency in history records to give credit to English inventors for the typewriter invention.  This could be due to the Patent Office fire in 1830 that destroyed the patents and models or just due to enthusiastic British historians of inventions. French authors, Henri Dupont and C. Senechal in their book "Les machines a écrire: historique, avantages, descriptions et traité complet de dactylographie ou art d'écrire a la machine" in 1906 described the facts about Burt's typographer machine as has been described above.

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