The timeline Index typewriters Keyboard typewriters Related collectables

Velograph (improved)

First year of production:
Rymtowt-Prince & Cie , Geneva , Switzerland
Serial nr:

The Velograph was the first typewriter to be designed and produced in Switzerland. The basic model with a flat index disk and roller inking appeared in 1886. The improved dome-shaped model with ribbon, shown here, appeared one year later.

The Velograph had a circular index with the letters arranged on one side, with figures and special characters arranged in one section. Upper and lower case letters were arranged on the two halves of the disk, so the operator would have to turn the disk 180 degrees to switch. On the earlier Velograph the upper and lower case letters had been arranged differently and the entire index disk was used.

The index and type disks of the Velograph could be moved independently, to facilitate a primitive kind of encoding, comparable to the Diskret. By shifting the index a number of characters to the left or right, one would write a letter using the index, but the result would be all mixed up. The receiver of the letter could decode the letter by copying it on another Velograph, after turning the disk in the opposite direction. (Or he could solve it like a riddle.)

The Velograph was a machine made with proverbial Swiss precision. It could be operated from inside the case, but it could also be taken out and placed on folding legs. An interesting feature was the extendable carriage rail, that would slide into the base board when the machine was not in use.

Courtesy of: Costa collection