Up to the present, type-writing machines have achieved much greater popularity in America than in this country. It is true that the invention is due to an American, but then we have adopted numerous inventions of American origin, which have proved a great boon and it is certainly not any want of activity on the part of those whose business it was to introduce the Remington Type-Writer into this country, which is at fault. The Remington, however, is not that perfect instrument which realises all the requirements of the user and although it has found a large number of patrons in the States, it has not met with a very favourable reception here. A great improvement on the Remington Type-Writer is being introduced in England in the shape of the "Caligraph", however, it is probable that popular favour will take it up more readily and from a close inspection and test of the appliance, we are enabled to state that it possesses great advantages over the Remington and deserves the attention of our business world in a remarkable degree. The history of its invention is somewhat curious. It was not until 1820 that Gillott's invention gave the first steel pen to the world and in 1866 only Mr. C. Latham Sholes of Milwaukie, Wisconsin, devised the first writing machine, which, however, had no commercial value. The next inventor in this field was Mr. G. W. N. Yost, who is also the inventor of another very successful appliance, the "Cotton Plough and Scraper" and numerous other agricultural implements. He improved the primitive form of type-writer then in existence and contracted with the Remington Armoury in 1873 for the manufacture of the same. Mr. Yost, however, appears to have considered that the Remington would in time become obsolete and transferring his inventions to that company, set to perfecting the "Caligraph", which, in its present form may indeed be called the "Ideal". As shown in our engraving, the machine works as follows:
The keys are simply touched, singly, in succession, by the fingers of either hand, with a staccato movement. The depression of any key brings its corresponding type up to the centre, striking it against the ribbon and making a clear impression upon the paper. As the type falls, the carriage with the paper moves forward the space of one letter and it is ready, with no attention, for the to the linger tips upon the following letter. The spaces between the words are made by simply touching the long keys at either side and a sweet toned bell gives notice when the writing approaches the end of the line, that the word or syllable may be completed or properly divided. A single movement of the curved lever in front pulls the carriage back to the starting point and the paper is advanced ready to begin the next line. By lifting the roller, which turns upon a hinge at the back of the carriage, the writing can be seen, so as to inspect the work as it progresses. The width of margin and distance between the lines are instantly regulated.
We may here state, that the complete Caligraph, called the Ideal No. 2, has two complete alphabets, eight figures, ten punctuation marks, "£" and "&" or a total of 72 characters. With this machine there is a choice of either one of several different varieties of type. This machine weighs about nineteen pounds and is therefore much lighter than the Remington. We have also inspected the No. 1 Ideal which is a smaller machine and has the advantage of great portability as it weighs only ten pounds although having 48 characters. It is invaluable for Press work, reports, manifolding and other work requiring only one kind of type. These machines are made of the best cast steel and we cannot speak too highly of their excellent finish, while they are much more durable than its competitors. Their great advantages may be summed up as follows:
an intelligent operator can keep the Caligraph working for a lifetime, the carriage is much lighter than that of the Remington which is very important as bearing on the question of rapidity and the adjusting screw with which the hanger is provided takes up any wear or last motion in the type bar journal without loosening the hanger or affecting the alignment. The arrangements for carrying the paper are far superior to those in the Remington, while the finger keys of the Caligraph requires only about one-half the depression (1/4 inch) needed in other machines, the touch being extremely light.
It will thus be seen that the Caligraph is a most superior alliance which deserves to be adopted by preference to other dearer machines. As in America, it ought to be adopted in all large offices and by authors, press men, clergymen, lawyers and last, though not least, by the blind to whom type writers have already proved a great boon. The rapidity, reliability and beautiful writing of the Caligraph will we feel convinced render it a favourite wherever used. We may also mention that by a special device it can be used for producing manifold copies in connection with the Cyclostyle. We have one of these splendid, products of American ingenuity on our office table and despite the novelty, we can already write with it more rapidly than with the pen. For press work it is of course invaluable, while for ordinary correspondence it is a treasure, it being easy to get a long letter on a small memo, sheet. For distinctness the writing is unequalled and the elegant and wonderful machine is a source of wonder and admiration to every visitor.
We may say Mr. T. Davison, the English Agent, of 18, Queen Victoria Street, is a thoroughly good fellow and agents who mean business should lose no time in communicating with him.
The Sewing Machine Gazette, 1885