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The World 1

First year of production:
World Typewriter Company , Maine , USA
Serial nr:

The World Typewriter was another cheap alternative for the complicated writing machines that were on the market in the 1880s. Like the American and the Hall, the World typewriter (marketed in 1886) in fact used a rubber sheet to stamp the letters onto the paper.

Two models of this delightful machine were produced with small variations. The World 1 wrote capital letters only. The World 2 wrote capitals and small letters.

The machine worked as simple as the other index writers. The user would point at a letter with the swinging index pointer and then stamp the letter onto the paper, using the keys over the platen on the left. This brought down the printing hammer onto the semi-circular rubber type sheet that was attached to the top of the index. An ink pad kept the type constantly inked.

(img courtesy Cornell University online archive)
Both the World 1 and the World 2 were sold in simple, but well made wooden cases, so they could be carried along or stored away easily, as is illustrated by this 1893 illustration of a man working on his World typewriter on a train.

It is hard to say what the quality of the work was that was produced on these cheap machines. The rubber type is usually missing, or at best rock hard. In the case of the World Typewriter however, we do have a sample of the original writing. On Nov 21, 1887, one Sally used a World advertising flyer to write a letter to her 'Dear friend', it includes several comments about the use of the World typewriter (see picture 6)

Courtesy of: Robert collection