Friday, September 01, 2006

To improve the usefulness of typewriters, the Smith Premier Typewriter Company introduced the Smith Premier, which used a full keyboard with separate keys for upper and lower case letters. Remington, on the other hand, came up with innovative Remington Model 2, which used the shift key to type both upper and lower case letters using a single character set on the keyboard and dual-faced type bars. This keyboard was better ergonomically designed to reduce the mechanical movement of the hand. Even though the demand for typewriters was virtually nonexistent at the time, the few typewriter manufacturers firmly believed in the great potential of the product. -- Sridhar Condoor: "Importance of Teaching the History of Technology", Proceedings Frontiers in Education 34th Annual Conference, Vol.1 (October 21, 2004), Session T2G, pp.7-10.

It was 1889 when the Smith Premier Typewriter Company introduced the first Smith Premier (cf. "Improvement the Order of the Age", The Century Magazine, Vol.37, No.6 (April 1889), Advertising Supplement, p.75). And it was more than ten years behind Remington No.2 (cf. "The Improved Type-Writer", The Type-Writer Magazine, Vol.2, No.1 (January 1878), pp.10-11,17,19-24). In the 1880's, even before the Smith Premier was introduced, the demand for typewriters were already existent and increased more and more (cf. "The Future of Writing Machines", The Cosmopolitan Shorthander, Vol.7, No.1 (January 1886), pp.4-6). Furthermore, Smith Premier was not the first typewriter with a full keyboard. The first one was Caligraph No.2, which was introduced by the American Writing Machine Company in 1882 (cf. "The Caligraph", The Caligraph Quarterly, Vol.1, No.1 (October 1882), pp.1-2,20-21,30). If Dr. Sridhar Condoor really emphasizes the importance of teaching the history of technology, at least he should clarify the sources of "the history" in his paper. Or he would make such a nonsense to compare the debuts of Smith Premier and Remington No.2.


Blogger josernstmartin said...

Dear mister Yasuoka,

in my search for information about the Smith Premier N.1 typewriter I came accross with your site. You referred to an article in the Century Magazine from April 1889. Could you give me an illustration of that article ?


Jos Legrand

Thursday, January 03, 2008 9:38:00 PM  
Blogger Koichi Yasuoka said...

You can get it from MOA clicking the link to "p. a075".

Tuesday, February 12, 2008 11:13:00 PM  

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