Manufacturer: Hall Type-Writer Co.
Designer: Thomas Hall
Made in: New York, USA
Originally Sold For: $40
Thomas Hall, a Brooklyn engineer, invented this first index typewriter. A typewriter with no keyboard that requires one to use a selector to choose the characters while typing. The Hall originally sold for $40, a low price alternative to the $100 keyboard machines; a good horse-drawn carriage could be bought for $70.00. At a time when few people knew how to type efficiently with both hands, it seemed reasonable to the operator of the Hall to pick out the characters with one hand. To type, the black handle is moved around over the holes (each hole is a different character) to select the characters. Then a styles, on the underside of the handle, is pushed down into one of the holes to print that character. Inside the typewriter, a rubber plate that has all the characters moulded on its surface, has moved into position allowing for the correct character to be pushed onto the paper. The rubber type could be quickly changed for different fonts and languages.