The mighty Remington typewriter

 Curio & Co. looks at vintage Remington typewriters. Photograph of dusty typewriter. Curio and Co.


The pen, they say, is mightier than the sword. But as the 19th century came to a close, at least one weapons manufacturer was hedging its bets.

By the middle of the 1800s, the Industrial Revolution had the business world buzzing along faster than ever before and brought with it the need to increase the pace of communication. Several inventors around the world put together designs for what we know today as the typewriter, but the first commercially successful model, called the Sholes and Glidden Type-Writer, was developed in 1868 and manufactured by E. Remington and Sons. That typewriter, which introduced the QWERTY keyboard, and a follow up model Remington No. 2 in 1878, which was the first typewriter to include both upper and lower case letters with the use of a shift key, set the standard for typewriters and keyboards that we see today.

Nowadays, the Remington name is famous for two things (three, if you count Remington Steele – and shouldn’t you always?): typewriters and firearms. The same Remington was one of the most successful gun manufacturers in the world (and is still the largest US manufacturer of shotguns and rifles), as well as a supplier to the US military from the Civil War through today.

Something to think about the next time you “fire off” a letter.