Industrial Revolution: Typewriter In America

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The typewriter was an invention of the industrial revolution in Britain. The first American paten for what might be called a typewriter was granted to William Austin Burt in 1829. The typewriter became an innovation by Christopher Sholes in 1873 ( ) when he read an article about William Burt. Although the typewriter made major improvements to the communication system, as well as opened up more jobs and made it more comfortable to type documents and letters, there are also some negatives that came out of this development such as environmental impacts.

The typewriter was a significant invention in the industrial revolution because it was of assistance with mass production. The typewriter reduced the time and expense involved in creating documents, encouraged the spread of systematic management. It allowed a system of communications that shaped the business world. The typewriter open up more jobs for women.

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A progressive result of this invention is that it was more comfortable to type then it was to hand write. Typing was also greatly quicker than hand, because Christopher came up with the design of the ‘QWERTY’ as it prevent jamming on mechanical typewriters by separating commonly used letter combinations ( this allowed people to make mass production of books and documents in a shorter period of time. The typewriter didn’t have any memory of documents meaning that every document was individually typed, the lengthy span of this is that we now have saved documents that with the push of a button can print as many as you need.

The typewriter improved communications, it did this by decreasing the time and expense involved in generating documents, this stimulated the spread of systematic administration ( The short duration of this is that it changed the system of communication that formed the business world, this was the new way of typing documents, letters and bills, and this meant that they could be delivered to people and businesses in a shorter period of time. Long term effects is that we now use other devices such as phones and computers which have a very similar keyboard set up, to type documents, letters and bills around the world, not only are they used in offices but in homes and schools. This has reduced the time and expense, by becoming a common form of communication.

The type writer wasn’t used in offices until the late 19th century, as they were easy to use made it more suitable for women. The short term positive outcome of the invention is that it allowed liberation for women, these ladies were kept hidden, and separate from the male workers, they were underpaid and bored employees (, By Nathalie O’Neill July 27 2013). Although these women were underpaid it was still enabling them to earn a wage for their household instead of being in side all making clothes and cleaning the house

In short the typewriter by Christopher Sholes really changed the way people communicated in the industrial revolution. Not only did it have some really progressive outcomes, such as opening up jobs for women and mass production, leading to the way we communicate today, but it also had some negative effects towards the environment which not only effected people in the industrial revolution but also in today’s time. The typewriter has had many advancements over time, a few major ones are the ‘QWERTY’ key board & being able to send/save documents and messages in seconds. Overall the typewriter was a positive invention not only for back then but it is the way we communicate around the whole world today.


  1. Heather Y Wheeler October 10th 2018
  2. Nathalie O’Neill July 27 2013
  3. Steven Lubar and Kathleen Kendrick
  4. (no date or author)


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