The History of Various Types of Writing Machines

\nWhen most people think of writing machines today, they imagine pieces of equipment used by court reporters to transcribe court proceedings. Writing machine devices used for this purpose are also known as steno writers, shorthand machines or stenotype machines. Unlike computer keyboards, the keys associated with these products do not include every letter of the alphabet. This is because users type in shorthand. Court reporters are not limited to working in a courthouse, they also use these machines to record depositions. Another group of people who use shorthand writing machines are speech-to-text reporters who provide closed captions for live and taped television programs and movies. Some people also use writing machines to provide visual text for individuals attending a university class or meeting who may be deaf or hard of hearing. This process is also known as Communication Access Real-Time Translation or CART.\n\nHowever, for much of the 20th century and earlier, writing machines were known as typewriters. Although the first electronic typewriter was produced in 1902, these useful devices date back to 1575 and an Italian printmaker, Francesco Rampazzetto. His scrittura tattile was the first known machine to impress letters on to paper. However, many of the advances in typewriting took place in the 1800s. The first commercially sold typing machine was the Hansen Writing Ball, which came out in 1865. It was a semi-spherical object that had letters waiting to be pressed spreading outward. Eight years later, the first typewriter with the QWERTY keyboard layout (still used with computers today) was created. The initial electronic typewriter was produced in 1902. One of this machine’s last developments occurred in 1981 when electronic memory typewriters were created. These allowed typists to correct mistakes before the pages were printed.\n\nThe golden age of typewriters experienced its end in the early 1980s once computers and printers started being used in a mainstream fashion. Places that still use typewriters today include maternity wards and funeral homes as birth and death certificates usually require text to be typed on to the form. Other places like law offices and town hall and local government offices also have pre-printed forms that need to be completed by an individual using this type of writing machine. Typewriters are also useful in places like correctional institutions where many inmates do not receive access to computers or in places in the world where electric power is not readily available.\n\nIt’s interesting to look back at each of the stages and types of various writing machines throughout history, and also look forward to future innovations within the writing space.\n

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\nWhen considering purchasing a used writing machine for sale, be sure to select a model (professional court reporting writing machine or student court reporting writing machine), which meets your particular needs. Also, go with a reputable manufacturer who stands behind their product and has been producing high quality writing machines for many years.