American Visible Typewriter
The American Visible typewriter was a
product of the American Typewriter Company, manufacturer of
a variety of typewriters from 1893 through the early part of the
The American Visible was an
index typewriter that printed from rubber type on a slider.
Advertisements gave the illusion that the machine was a fully
functioning keyboard typewriter. It was not. It was
controlled by a finger thimble that hovered above the keyboard.
The desired character was printed by placing one's finger in the
thimble and sliding it over that character on the American's simulated keyboard. Once
a character was selected, depressing the thimble caused the entire keyboard to lower
thus pivoting a print hammer into the typeface for printing.
An ink pad, located between the sliding
type and the platen contacted the typeface for inking.
Another variation of this model, with a curved front
edge, used a
sliding pointer to select a character for printing. On
this model, the keyboard did not lower but instead used a lever
at the left of the keyboard to actuate the print hammer.
On both versions, a spacebar was located in front of the
This design was also sold under the name Young American
The Americal Visible is a simple yet
charming example of an early writing machine.
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