Columbia Typewriter Company of New York, 1886 – serial no.977

Front view of the Columbia 2 typewriter.

‘Charles Spiro: Reaching Back in Time’ – An illustrated article

The exquisite Columbia 2 typewriter shows some primary changes to the Columbia 1, notably the type wheel now prints directly onto the top of the platen, with the anvil and leather cushion strip present on the model 1 gone. Also the upper and lowercase characters are now on one larger type wheel and the index pointer has two ends, one end for selecting lowercase characters and the other end, with the ‘C’, for uppercase characters.

As shown in the illustration below, one’s hand rotates the black handle to turn the pointer to select the characters. The handle is then depressed to bring the type wheel down into contact with the paper.

The type wheel could be changed to give different fonts by unscrewing the black handle and switching the wheels. One of these type wheels can be seen in the fourth photo below. What looks like an oiling can, in the same photo, is actually for applying ink to the felt ink pad.

The transition from model 1 to model 2 is quite remarkable and clearly shows that a brilliant inventor was at work.

“Its work is the full equal of book-print, whether done by an expert or a novice; whether written on a table or in a train at full speed.”

“The only writing machine that attains an Invariable Alignment, and a variable spacing to accommodate wide and narrow letters …”