Featherweight Blickensderfer portable typewriter, 1893.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
With many of its parts made of aluminium, this was a lightweight variant of the compact typewriter that George C Blickensderfer began to produce in 1889 at his works in Connecticut. The design cleverly combines a type wheel inked by rollers with a standard keyboard. The type wheel bears three rows of type, allowing the 28 keys to produce 84 characters by means of a double shift. The Blick's portability and ease of adaptation to foreign languages made it hugely succesful worldwide.