Keyed up, switched on, logged in

MZTV Museum
of Television

MZTV Museum, Toronto – 2015 ‘Keyed Up, Switched On, Logged In’
The story of the birth of modern communication through the union of two of the most powerful inventions in history.

I had approached Moses Znaimer about doing a joint exhibit that would bring together early typewriters and televisions to celebrate how these two major inventions would lend themselves to another most important invention, the personal computer. He liked the idea and the exhibit ‘Keyed Up, Switched On, Logged In’ was created.

Introduction to Martin Howard and his collection at the MZTV Museum. 

Read an article about the exhibit at Everythingzoomer.com

Exceptional Examples of
the World’s First Typewriters


Show Media the parent company of TYPO Products, the maker of the TYPO2 keyboard for the iPhone, invited me to display and present 25 of my typewriters at their booth at the 2015 Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas.

This was certainly the last thing that people expected to see amongst all the gadgetry and high tech communication devices but people reacted with such joy and excitement that many stayed for over half an hour to check out the typewriters and to speak with me. It was an exhilarating time.

Show Media CEO Laurence Hallier had this to say. “Martin Howard has 100 cylinders, he spoke to every single person with just as much passion no matter who they were. Also Martin, your collection was the star of the show, truly something people appreciate and enjoyed.”

2010 Season - age of arousal

Shaw Festival

Four typewriters from the Martin Howard Collection will be displayed in the lobby of the Shaw Festival Theatre during the run of Age of Arousal by Linda Griffiths.  These typewrites are primary examples of the typewriters that were used by the first professional typists in the mid 1880s and reflect the period and setting of the play.

‘It’s 1885 in Age of Arousal, and in London there are half a million more women than men. Mary, an ex-suffragette, has opened a secretarial school for women to teach liberation through typing. When three sisters sign up, unexpected passions and secret desires are unleashed as they each learn what being a New Woman can truly mean.’


Keys to the Kingdom:
The Early Typewriters Exhibit at IFOA

Festival of

The International Festival of Authors (IFOA) brings together the best writers of contemporary world literature for 11 days of readings, interviews, lectures, round table discussions, and public book signings.

This is what Margaret Atwood tweetered about the collection. “Calling all Gadgetgeeks! Very early days of keyboards: www.antiquetypewriters.com
It’s like the Burgess Shales of Typewriters! Incredible!”

“I was delighted to learn of Martin’s extensive and diverse typewriter collection. We are even more delighted to be able to showcase a portion of his holdings at the International Festival of Authors,” said Geoffrey E. Taylor, Director of the IFOA.

Read a review of the event.

Press release.

Early Typewriters -
Gateway to the Information Age


This large exhibit of over forty 19th century typewriters was beautifully presented at the Malton Gallery (Terminal 1) with their museum quality display cases and lighting.

This exhibition was originally organized by the Royal Ontario Museum in conjunction with Martin Howard. It has been modified by Martin Howard for exhibition at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Press release.

Early Typewriters -
Gateway to the information age

Royal Ontario

William Thorsell, former Director and CEO of the ROM, conveyed the relevance of Howard’s collection as follows. “The Royal Ontario Museum became aware of the private collection of early typewriters owned by Martin Howard of Toronto, in 2006. Visiting the collection, we realized that this compilation of early writing machines was extensive, authoritative and beautifully cared for.”

“The collection illustrates mankind’s search for a solution to a challenge, the intriguing avenues explored, the beautiful means by which they were expressed and the technical proficiency of the age.”

Press release.

ROM Podcast.

Ink to Internet


Markham Museum offers a unique family and educational experience featuring over 20 historic buildings on 25 acres of parkland. The Museum represents the main themes of settlement as it relates to the environment, and the technologies used to adapt to life.

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