In 1923 the Herkimer County Historical Society published The Story of the Typewriter on the fiftieth anniversary of the first widely-manufactured typewriter, the Remington No. 1 (1873). Herkimer County published the book because Ilion, NY was an industrial center in that county – that’s where the Remington Company produced guns, sewing machines, and typewriters. Their first manufactured typewriter looked like this:
In contrast, an 1875 Remington pistol:
Apparent proof that pretty typewriters and sewing machines were for ladies, guns were for guys. And despite all kinds of romantic images of brooding Raymond Chandler types hulking over their typewriters with cigarettes and Scotch, typewriters were often considered the provenance of lady typists. In fact, Christopher Latham Sholes, the inventor of the typewriter pictured, said of his machine “I feel that I have done something for the women who have always had to work so hard. This will enable them to more easily earn a living.” What a guy Sholes was, giving the ladies a leg up.
The good people of the Herkimer County Historical Society thought he was swell, too. (Duh, his typewriter helped put them on the map). In fact, they say this about him, which is almost hysterically congratulatory:
“He was always a visionary, and one of his visions was of a human Utopia which should witness the abolition of greed and poverty and the dawn of universal love. Call him a dreamer if you will, but one day he dreamed a dream which he proceeded to translate into a wonderful reality, which has placed the whole world in his everlasting debt.” – The Story of the Typewriter, 1923