Remington No 1 typewriter, c 1876.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The first known typewriter was invented in the United States of America by William Burt in 1830 and was followed by a flood of designs both in the United States and Europe. These machines were usually one offs and it was not until 1874 that a typewriter became a commercial success. This was achieved by the inventors Christopher Sholes (1819-1890) and Carlos Glidden, who made an agreement with the Remington company to have their model, the 'Type-writer', manufactured in quantity. The first machine produced wrote in capitals and was heavily influenced by the workings and appearance of the sewing machine, which was also produced by Remington. Sholes was also famous for introducing the layout of the letters on a keyboard, QWERTY, which is still in use today.