Icons: Remington Typewriter

The darling of the literary world, the Remington typewriter made as much news as the novels it was used to script. A peek into its history…

In a world where keyboards are soon becoming redundant, we decided to take a stroll down memory lane to see where it all started. Much before the revolution that came with personal computers, typewriters were the inscrutable machines that spew everything from the best sellers to landmark judgements. 

The very first Remington typewriter was produced in 1875, where all letters were uppercase, and it had lids that covered both, the keyboard and carriage when not in use. The company was initially known as E Remington and Sons, and was founded way back in 1816 for designing and making Remington rifle barrels. It was not until sixty years later, that they produced their first ever typewriter. And it was no less than Mark Twain, who was one of their earliest users who used it to send his manuscript to his publishers.

What is especially noteworthy is that the features seen in their earliest typewriters form the basis of the keyboards for computers today. The very first typewriter they created was a descendent of the Sholes and Glidden typewriter, and it was Sholes who had designed the QWERTY layout, as we know it today. And, it was the Remington typewriter with this layout that set the tone for keypads across interfaces. 

Over the years, Remington went on to introduce different models including the uppercase and lowercase inclusive variant. It enjoyed a lot of patronage and popularity - Agatha Christie used the Remington Portable 2 and 5, while Rudyard Kipling preferred the Remington Noiseless while Margaret Mitchell chose a Remington Portable 3 for her rendition of “Gone with the Wind”.


Written By: Pragnya Rao

Contributing Writer

1 December 2016


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