Profile America — Saturday, April 12th. On this date in 1892, the first U.S. patent for a truly portable typewriter was issued to George C. Blickensderfer of Stamford, Connecticut for a "type writing machine." The machine worked on the principle of a revolving type wheel, a precursor to the type ball of 1970s typewriters. The wheel reduced the number of moving parts from 2,500 to 250, improving reliability and reducing the weight by one-fourth. The Blickensderfer Manufacturing Company eventually became one of the world's largest typewriter manufacturers in a crowded field. In 1900, U.S. manufacturers shipped 145,000 typewriters. 1967 was the peak year with nearly 2 million shipped. Today, what's left of typewriter manufacturing has all moved overseas. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at <www.census.gov>.
Sources: Kane's Famous First Facts, 2387
Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times 1970, p. 694, 695