Grateful American® Foundation

Who invented the typewriter?

July 23rd

220px-W_A_Burt_typographerJuly 23, 1829 — Today, William Austin Burt patented the first typographer (typewriter).

An American legislator, surveyor, craftsman and inventor created a rectangular wooden box that depressed a rotating lever, causing ink to be released onto a sheet of paper.

The reason for the creation was to simply to speed up his writing process as a surveyor, but Burt’s goal was never reached due to his machine’s slow nature.

It wasn’t until 1873 that the first practical typewriter was invented by Christopher Latham Sholes, which included the qwerty keyboard that is used today.

In 1874, Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) purchased his first typewriter for $125. It is believed that he is the first author to submit a typewritten novel for publication entitled, “Life on the Mississippi.”

Words of Wisdom

Please do not even divulge the fact that I own a machine. I have entirely stopped using the Type-Writer, for the reason that I never could write a letter with it to anybody without receiving a request by return mail that I would not only describe the machine but state what progress I had made in the use of it, etc., etc. I don't like to write letters, and so I don't want people to know that I own this curiosity-breeding little joker.

— Letter from Mark Twain, March 19, 1875

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