Bar-Lock Typewriter

No. 4

Barlock No. 4 Typewriter 

The Bar-Lock typewriter derived its name from the series of pins used to guide and lock each typebar as they arrive at the printing point, thus ensuring the best possible alignment of type. The Bar-Lock No. 4 is one of several models from the Bar-Lock family of typewriters that originated in 1888. The Bar-Lock 's most prominent feature is its ornate, pressed copper, curved front shield.  With its name inscribed across the front,  this shield also serves as a cover for its type bars.  A charming typewriter, it also uses a double keyboard for pringing both upper and lower case characters without the need for a shift key.  The typebars swing down from a verticle position in front of the platen, enabling the user to see each character as they are typed,.  As the type bars strike the platen, they enter a small semi-circle of metal pins that guide the typebar to ensure perfect  alignment.  Inking is by ribbon, also conceiled behind the shield.

The Bar-Lock typewriter was invented by Charles Spiro, a prolific inventor, who, at an early age, apprenticed in his father’s New York watchmakers shop.  He later became an attorney, a useful skill for someone with a passion for inventing.   In addition to the Barlock series of typewriters, he also invented the earlier Columbia index typewriter.  In 1895, the Barlock 4 typewriter sold for $100.


    Barlock Typewriter Profile Behind the front shield of the Barlock typewriter Bar-Lock typebar as it strikes the platen
    Inside the Bar-Lock factory 



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