Fitch typewriter No 3287, 1886.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Users of the first typewriters had to work blind, as the writing only emerged after several lines had been typed. The Fitch, invented by Eugene Fitch of Iowa, was one of the first machines to allow prompt correction of mistakes. The type bars were positioned behind the paper and the writing area faced upwards so that the result could be seen instantly. A curved frame kept the emerging paper from obscuring the keyboard, but the Fitch was soon eclipsed by machines in which the paper could be fed more conveniently from the rear.