The Hansen Writing Ball, 1870

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Found this gem at The Virtual Typewriter Museum.
This site has lots of good information, history, technical detail, and photos of Typewriters.
The section on the Hansen Writing Ball is fascinating.
From Hansen writing ball of 1870

Several people may carry the title of inventor of the typewriter. Several typewriters may fight over the title of first production machine. Only two machines are regarded as 'the holy grail of typewriters'. The Hansen name is the only one to compete strongly in all three categories.
Although the Sholes & Glidden is generally regarded as the first production typewriter in history, the Hansen writing ball in fact beat the S&G by no less than four years. The reverend Rasmus Hans Malling Johan Hansen (1835-1890) worked as a teacher and as director of an institution for the deaf and dumb in Copenhagen. It was his desire to enable his pupils to 'speak with their fingers' that led him to develop his writing ball.
Typing and carriage return of the Hansen writing ball.
There are so many amazing aspects about this machine, that Hansen certainly deserves the title of 'inventor' as much as Sholes or Mitterhofer did. And finally, with an effective auction value of over 120,000 euros (april 2002), the Hansen claim to be the Holy Grail of Typewriters is no joke. And one look at the machine makes it clear that it is without a doubt the single most beautiful typewriter ever made.
Continued ...

Beautiful indeed!
Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.


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