Just My Type

Seeing a typewriter nowadays isn’t a common sight – unless you work in one of the world’s biggest print archives. Here at the Foundation we have a few examples of the machines, from the early Remingtons and Underwoods through to this cheeky little number.

At a first glance, this machine looks entirely normal but, upon closer inspection, the keyboard is coded with some unconventional typewriter symbols, including crotchets, quavers and treble clefs. The Music Writer was produced around the 1960s and can be used for to write music all across the spectrum; from ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’, to ‘Mozart’s Fifth’. There is currently a piece of staff paper in the machine with a musical piece typed on it, we’re not sure of the quality of the song transcribed…


This is only the tip of a typewriting iceberg in terms of our collection. Housed at the Foundation is a small typewriter brought in by Lynn Lewis. Surprisingly, even we had nothing in our files on it. However, the regulars to the Library, and our Twitter followers are on the ball and managed to decipher its origins – our mystery typewriter is of German origins, made the Schmidt Brothers in the early 20th century.


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