The typewriter might be the first truly democratizing tool for the setting of body text—and therefore the printing of independent materials. This talk will explore two particular typewriters—The Hammond, and its immediate descendant, The VariTyper. Both machines, capable of changing typefaces and offering proportional spacing, offered a level of typewriting previously never seen, starting with the release of the Hammond in 1884!
We will look at how these two machines were marketed, who used them, and how their use evolved over time as users began to understand the vast benefits of what was an affordable typesetting device that fit easily on a desktop. We will try to understand how this typography was used and recieved by the industry, non-traditional users, and audiences alike.