Imperial Model B typewriter, 1915.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The Imperial Typewriter Company was founded in Leicester in 1908 by a Spanish American, Hidalgo Moya. The company made the first typewriters to be designed and mas-produced in Britain. The Model B was introduced in 1914. Unlike some of its competitors, it offered writing that was fully visible to the typist, although somewhat obscured by the vertical bank of typebars positioned between the keyboard and the paper. The awkwardly curved keyboard did not disappear until the introduction of the Model D in 1919.