Invented in 1867 by Christopher Sholes

Typewriter: Chuck Norris Approves!!

Christopher Latham Sholes

Born: 14-Feb-1819
Birthplace: Mooresburg, PA
Died: 17-Feb-1890
Location of death: Milwaukee, WI

Nationality: American

Father: Orrin Sholes
Brother: Charles Clark Sholes (newspaper publisher)
Brother: Henry Sholes
Wife: Mary Jane McKinney Sholes
Daughter: Lillian Sholes

High School: Danville School, Danville, PA


  • Invented in 1867
  • The first "Sholes and Glidden Typewriter" was offered for salde in 1874 but was not an instant success.
  • After a few years the sales skyrocketed.
  • Invented in Winsconsin

Impact on Society

The typewriter helped create an entry point for women to seek office-based typing jobs, which created further opportunities in the workplace that have continued to evolve. It also defined the modern computer keyboard layout.

How a Typewriter Works

A sheet of paper is rolled into the typewriter. The typer hits a key, which makes the lever raise, pushing the bar of type against the ink ribbon and on the paper. The pressure of the bar of type pressing through the ink ribbon leaves an imprint on the paper. Since each key has two characters, typewriters need a way for the key to choose which of the letters to press on the paper. Shift mechanisms allow the typists to choose the second character on the key. Other levers on the typewriter add spaces to the line of type or help to move the paper up through the typewriter.


Sholes is usually credited as the inventor of the typewriter, but his machine wasn't the first typewriter. Dozens of contraptions had accomplished this in diferent ways before Sholes began working on the problem


  • George K. Anderson of Memphis, Tennessee patented the typewriter ribbon on 9/14/1886.

  • The first electric typewriter was the Blickensderfer.

  • In 1944, IBM designs the first typewriter with proportional spacing.

  • Pellegrine Tarri made an early typewriter that worked in 1801 and invented carbon paper in 1808.

  • In 1829, William Austin Burt invents the typographer, a predecessor to the typewriter.

  • Mark Twain enjoyed and made use of new inventions, he was the first author to submit a typewritten manuscript to his publisher.