Profile America — Friday, April 12th.On this date in 1892, the first U.S. patent for a truly portable typewriter was issued to George C. Blickensderfer of Stamford, Connecticut for a "type writing machine." The machine worked on the principle of a revolving type wheel, a precursor to the type ball of 1970s typewriters. The wheel reduced the number of moving parts from 2,500 to 250, improving reliability and reducing the weight by one-fourth. The Blickensderfer Manufacturing Company eventually became one of the world's largest typewriter manufacturers in a crowded field. In 1900, U.S. manufacturers shipped 145,000 typewriters. 1967 was the peak year with nearly 2 million shipped. You can find more facts about America's people, places and economy from the American Community Survey at www.census.gov.
Sources: Connecticut History.org Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times 1970, p. 694, 695
Profile America is produced by the Center for New Media and Promotions of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on a monthly CD or on the Internet at http://www.census.gov (look for "Multimedia Gallery" by the "Newsroom" button).