The gorgeous Hammond 1 Golden Oak typewriter

Hammond Golden Oak typewriterThe Hammond 1 Golden Oak (circa 1880s) is a beautiful example of typewriter design & mechanical ingenuity. It came in oak, cherry or mahogany finishes with solid ebony keys. How important were typewriters in the latter part of the 19th century? According to Martin Howard, the Canadian typewriter collector & scholar, this Hammond, like most typewriters, sold for around $100 at a time when you could buy a horse-drawn carriage for between $40 to $70.  Howard also explains about the unusual type-bar design. “Instead of using type-bars, a curved split type-shuttle with hardened rubber characters rotates into position as the keys are pushed. Then, a spring-loaded hammer swings from behind the carriage to the reverse side of the paper, striking the paper and ribbon against the type-shuttle to print. The consistent force of the hammer gives an even impression to each character typed, regardless of how soft or hard the keys are pushed.” Whew. See what I mean about mechanical ingenuity? Following Remington & the Caligraph, the New York-manufactured Hammond was the third machine in history to be designed with a keyboard. The Reverend Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland) owned one; it sold at auction last year for £6,500.