Sholes and Glidden typewriter, 1875.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This was the first commercially succesful writing machine. It was the result of intensive research in the United States by Christopher Latham Sholes (1819-1890), Carlos Glidden and Samuel Soule, which was financed by James Densmore between 1866 and 1873. After many false starts, they developed what they called the type-writer, complete with the now familiar QWERTY keyboard. The machine began to be produced in quantity by the Remington Company in 1874. Because the type bars strike the paper from below, the writing cannot be seen until the carriage is lifted.