Sunday, December 03, 2006

Nietzsche's Typewriter

Nietzsche's Typewriter

This has got to be the most lovely writing machine ever, and it's obvious why an aesthetician like ol' Fritz would have used one.

A contender for the title of first typewriter, this is the most steampunk writing tool I've ever seen. Way too collectible to be hacked into a steampunk themed computer, unfortunately. One of these Hansen Writing balls went for 120,000 Euros in a 2002 auction! Hmmm... I wonder if someone out there in cyber land would capable of making a working replica... or better yet a USB version with a matching trackball...

Several people may carry the title of inventor of the typewriter. Several typewriters may fight over the title of first production machine. Only two machines are regarded as 'the holy grail of typewriters'. The Hansen name is the only one to compete strongly in all three categories.
Although the Sholes & Glidden is generally regarded as the first production typewriter in history, the Hansen writing ball in fact beat the S&G by no less than four years. The reverend Rasmus Hans Malling Johan Hansen (1835-1890) worked as a teacher and as director of an institution for the deaf and dumb in Copenhagen. It was his desire to enable his pupils to 'speak with their fingers' that led him to develop his writing ball.

Click the link for a video of this beauty in action! It's towards the bottom of the page.

via those lovely Steampunks at Brass Goggles

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