On 27 April 1876 The Glasgow Herald introduced its readers to a cutting-edge invention which would enable anyone ‘possessing a knowledge of spelling to express ideas on paper in far less time… and to express them, too, in more distinct characters’. By the year 1900 typewriters had revolutionised the world of communications, transforming office work and opening up new employment opportunities, especially for women.
In this free exhibition, examine the social and technological impact of typewriters over more than 100 years. Chart the development of these iconic machines, from early prototypes to electronic versions, and explore their role in society, the arts and popular culture through the personal stories of those who designed, made and used them.
Drawing on National Museums Scotland’s outstanding typewriter collection, the exhibition features a superb range of machines including an 1876 Sholes and Glidden typewriter which was the first to have a QWERTY keyboard, a 1950s electric machine used by Whisky Galore author Sir Compton Mackenzie, and the 1970s design icon, the Olivetti Valentine.