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Although printing had come into use four centuries before, letters or stories still had to be written by hand. (The text of a piece of writing before it is published is still called a manuscript, from Latin words meaning "handwritten.") Attempts had been made to devise machines that could print letters when certain levers were struck, but they usually proved extremely cumbersome and worked much more slowly than a person could write.

The first writing machine that was reasonably compact and, with practice, could be made to print at least as quickly as people could write was built by an American inventor, Christopher Latham Sholes (1819-1890). He constructed his first machine in 1867 and patented it the next year. within a few years it had gained the name of typewriter.


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Author:Asimov, Isaac
Publication:Asimov's Chronology of Science & Discovery, Updated ed.
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1994
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