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Taurus

First year of production:
1908
Company:
Torrani & Co , Milan , Italy
Serial nr:
n.a.

The is definitely one of the smallest, oddest, clumsiest and most desirable typewriters ever produced: the Taurus. With a diameter of 6 cms it had the size of an old fashioned watch. It printed a total of 45 characters (caps only) on a narrow strip of paper, that was kept on a roll in the bottom of the typewriter.

We do not know what the concept behind this machine was. Fact is that it was extremely portable. Fact is also that the only practical purpose for the machine would seem to have been to type small labels, similar to the modern Dymo machines. Apparently however, the producer did regard the machine as a general typewriter.

Operation of this early 20th Century gadget is as simple as it looks. The user would turn the circular index to bring the right character into position. By pressing the button on the top, the paper was pressed up against the type by a small stamp in the bottom of the case. After printing, the stamp was pulled back by a spring, that also operated the tiny wheels that pulled the paper forward one space. Inking was done by two small rolls.

When a sentence was typed, the user could pull the paper out and tear it off. The instruction manual said that the strips of paper should then be glued onto a sheet of stationary. You would write letters with the look and feel of a telegram.

The Taurus was a total failure commercially, which makes it an extremely rare gadget these days. Only seven of these little machines are known to have survived.

Courtesy of: Mantelli collection