Meiselbach Typewriter Co., Kenosha, Wis, USA, 1901 – serial no.5202

Photograph of the Sholes Visible typewriter.
The Sholes Visible typewriter has a remarkable imposing look, almost like a Gothic cathedral in its architecture. It would be Christopher Latham Sholes last manufactured typewriter.

His son Louis began manufacturing the typewriter in Milwaukee in 1893, three years after his father’s death, but had no success. In 1901 the Meiselbach Typewriter Co., in Kenosha Wisconsin resumed the manufacturing of the Sholes Visible with various minor design changes and met with some success until production stopped in 1905.

The overall design of the Sholes Visible is driven largely by a unique and quite remarkable means for having the type bars strike the paper. The type bars are lined up in two rows within the protruding angled ‘wing’ above the center of the keyboard. When one pushes a key, the type bar moves slightly over to an open channel between the two type bar rows and moves up to strike the platen and then returns back to its home position. No other typewriter has anything that operates like this.

Despite its market failure, this is a fine tribute to Sholes for his engineering prowess in creating such a unique typing machine.

(The illustrated manual pages are courtesy of The Peter Weil Typewriter Archive)