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Explore how these remarkable machines have influenced both society and technology, and why they are still popular today.

The typewriter not only revolutionised offices, but also transformed the world of work. Find out more about the history of the typewriter and how they impacted women in the workplace, as well as how a contemporary artist and LEGO bring typewriters back to life in their own ways.

From early machines to modern style icons

Discover over 100 years of typewriters in our collection.

Explore here

Featured typewriters

A black old-fashioned typewriter.

A Caligraph No. 4 typewriter, by the American Writing Machine Co, New York, 1895 - 1900 (T.1934.188) 

The Caligraph typewriter was the first major competitor to Remington typewriters. Instead of a shift key, from 1882 Caligraphs featured a full keyboard with separate keys for lower-case, upper-case, numbers and special characters. Caligraph typewriters were imported into Scotland by John J Deas.

Red Olivetti typewriter.

Olivetti Valentine typewriter manufactured in Barcelona, Spain, c. 1970 (T.1989.15.1).

Designed by Italian architect Ettore Sottsass and British designer Perry King, this machine was marketed as a stylish accessory and was far removed from office culture. While its high price tag meant that it was not a commercial success, today it is highly prized by collectors.

Old-fashioned typewriter.

Blickensderfer No. 5 typewriter. Manufactured in Stamford, Connecticut, c. 1898 - 1909 (T.1963.69.1).

Released in 1894, the Blickensderfer No 5 was one of the first portable typewriters with a keyboard. This example – which has been adapted to type in Greek – was owned by Arthur Beattie, Professor of Greek at the University of Edinburgh.

An old-fashioned black typewriter.

Remington No. 2 typewriter, manufactured 1887 - 1888 (T.1960.34).

Released in 1878, the Standard No 2 featured several improvements on Remington’s first typewriter model, the Sholes & Glidden. Most important was the shift key which allowed the typist to swap between lower- and upper-case letters.

Women at work in a typing office © Aberdeen City Council.

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