Modern typewriters started appearing in the 1920s and various models emerged. The sizes of these units differ. The Olivetti MS25 for example, measures 5.5"H x 14.2"W x 14.2"D. It weighs 12.1 lbs. The carriage length is 24.8 cm and the paper width is 24.5 cm.
The typewriter has 48 keys, including shift keys, backspace, space bar, space bar repeater key and has plastic housing. The typing width is 21.5 cm. Other popular typewriters were made by IBM, Brother and Nakajima. These typewriters have different specifications.
A Brief History of Typewriters
No single person can claim to be the inventor of the machine. The need to reduce the size of the printing press led to its invention. During the 19th century, various prototype typewriters dimensions and variants emerged.
These early devices came with sliding scales and dial based construction. It was the hammer key design that became popular. Around the early 20th century, the hammer key was already being used universally. Motors were used in the machine to speed up typing. This led to widespread use, particularly during the 1960s.
Manual and Electric Typewriters
The manual typewriters do not rely on electricity. Instead they rely on the hammer style mechanism. This is used to match the hitting of the keys with the letter printing. Electric typewriters have discarded the hammer mechanism and use a power supply.
The advent of computers and word processors led to the demise of the typewriters. Today however, the typewriter is highly valued as an antique. The value of the machine depends on how rare the model is, the condition and the brand. A well maintained antique typewriter is good for several hundred dollars up to a few thousand. The 1895 Ford typewriter is worth $12,000.
Even though word processors are the standard used in offices, there are still some people who use typewriters today. There are also some writers who like the feel of the typewriter as opposed to a word processor. The typewriter is also used extensively in many period films.
The typewriter dimensions are not as important for collectors as the quality of the machine. If you want to start a collection, you can start by looking on the Internet. There are many sites that specialize in selling these vintage machines.