Keyed Up, Switched On, Logged In: Antique Typewriters at the MZTV Museum of Television
A glimpse back to the early days of ink and ribbon…
If someone gifted you the handy little gadget pictured below, would you know what to do with it? Your great-grandparents might.
At first glance it looks like some sort of calculator. Or maybe a primitive seismograph. An old-fashioned musical box perhaps? Looks, as we know, can be deceiving. The Hall, circa 1881, is, in fact, an American typewriter, known for being the first of its kind without a keyboard.
It’s a unique artifact in the history of the written word and just one of a set of antique typewriters that make up the Keyed Up, Switched On, Logged In exhibit currently on display at the MZTV Museum of Television.
“Big black machines with names like Underwood and Remington will be familiar to anyone of a certain age,” the exhibit, which features antiques from the Martin Howard Collection of Early Typewriters, notes. “But it took many years of mechanical evolution to arrive at those workhorses.”
Keyed Up, Switched On, Logged In lays that evolution bare with typewriters from the late-19th and early 20th century that vary is shape, size, design – from ornately-decorated machines to devices that look nothing like any typewriter you’ve ever seen. Central to the exhibit is the TV typewriter, which serves as a missing link, so to speak, in the leap from typewriters to personal computers.
Crandall New Model (1887, USA)
This typewriter boasts a wonderful Victorian design, with inlaid mother-of-pearl and hand painted roses all over its frame.
Ford (1895, USA)
The Ford typewriter is a most impressive machine with its ornate grille and gracefully integrated keyboard. Its inventor Eugene Ford would become a senior Development Engineer for IBM.
The MZTV Museum of Television boasts “one of the world’s largest collections of historic television sets and ephemera,” including TV sets that belonged to Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley. For more information, visit www.mztv.com.