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The Merritt

First year of production:
1890
Company:
Merritt Manufacturing Company (later: Lyon) , Springfield (later:New York) , USA
Serial nr:
3305

The Merritt typewriter took its job literally. This awkward looking linear index machine used loose type in a rail to print letters. The design was patented by M.G. Merritt in 1890.

Lead type comes up through the adjustment hole. 
The Merritt was designed to produce high quality and well-adjusted work. The typist would slide the index knob to the right letter on the index strip and press to print. This would push the lead type up through the adjustment hole against the bottom of the platen. Inking was done by two ink rollers on either side of the adjustment hole.

The sliding rail with type contained small letters, capitals and a full range of symbols. A double shift key allowed the typist to choose capitals or figures. The entire list of characters was printed in the right order (i.e. mirrored) on the instruction card that was pasted on the inside of the lid. If the typist ever dropped the machine or wanted to replace the type with a different typeface, this list would help.
Instruction card. 

The Merritt index was a blind writer, so that the carriage had to be lifted to view the work.

Some early models of this machine are known without the trademark on the frame.

Courtesy of: Robert collection