Printing blocks from a Japanese typewriter, c 1930.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Printing blocks from a typewriter made by the Nippon Typewriter Company based on a patent first granted in America in 1917. A series of trays containing various types can be fitted into the machine. Each tray contains 2,380 separate types. The typist moves the whole unit containing the paper roller and key until it reaches the required character. Presing the key causes the mechanism to lift the type out of the case and swing it against the paper. An inked roller brushes over the type as it moves up to the paper.