Tuesday Open Line

On this date in 1892, the first U.S. patent for a truly portable typewriter was issued to George C. Blickensderfer of Stamford, Connecticut. His “type writing machine” featured a revolving type-wheel, a precursor to the type-ball of 1970s typewriters. The wheel reduced the number of moving parts from 2,500 to 250, improving reliability and reducing the weight by one-fourth. The Blickensderfer Manufacturing Company eventually became one of the world’s largest typewriter manufacturers in a crowded field. In 1900, U.S. manufacturers shipped 145,000 typewriters. 1967 was the peak year with nearly 2 million produced. Today, what’s left of typewriter manufacturing has all moved overseas, with the world leader located in India. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at <www.census.gov>.