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American (Armstrong)

First year of production:
American Typewriter Company , New York , USA
Serial nr:

The American Typewriter Company produced three typewriter models, each intended as a cheap alternative for the benchmark machines of the day. The first two were index writers - the American and the American Visible - but the third and last model was a keyboard machine, a blind writer.

It is impossible to mistake the American keyboard typewriter for any other machine, because of its peculiar shape with the rectangular cover over the key levers. In fact, key lever is not the right word, because on the American the key lever and typebar consisted of one single rod, pivoting over a pin sticking up from the frame.

With the type resting in a semi-circular type basket, and swinging in towards the paper, the result is that the keytops swing out in the opposite direction when a key is depressed. This movement was limited by placing the pivot point very close to the keytops, but it still gives a very special touch to the machine.

According to some sources the machine was built until 1915. Known serial numbers run into the 20,000s, indicating a considerable production. Several model indications are known (7 and 8) and the machine was sold under a series of different names. The Armstrong, shown here, was sold in England.

Courtesy of: Robert collection