The last few little-known typewriters … for now (W-Z)

by | Sep 7, 2018 | obscure | 8 comments

Here’s the conclusion of my series of images of little-known typewriters. Of course, this hasn’t been anything like an exhaustive list of weird or obscure writing machines. I just tried to select some that are never or rarely discussed in collectors’ circles. Maybe one of my readers will now take a second look at that dusty relic on the antique shop shelf . . . .

This impressive index machine is a Wagner Schneider.

The Watsongraph was a radio-operated IBM invented by Glen Watson. This one isn’t so obscure to readers of ETCetera, who know it from Robert Messenger’s recent story in issue 121.

The cute Winsor is a name variant of the Junior, made in Spain by Talleres Alonso (see previous post).

I have the next machine in my files as “WWII Japanese device.” I think it’s a typewriter made for the military.

Not too many typewriters begin with X, but one that I would love to find is the Xcel, which had some keys devoted to typing whole words at one stroke.

Here’s another little index machine of the 19th century, the Yankee. This is one of the antique typewriters that are worth far more than they originally sold for (after accounting for inflation).

An 1898 ad: “As to speed, will say I can write.”

The Young American is a variant of the American Visible index typewriter.

The Young Students is a toy marketed by Sears Roebuck. (You may recognize the atomic SR logo from their “Tower” rebranded Smith-Coronas.)

The Zenit is a Russian clone of a ’50s Royal portable.

If you don’t know what a Zerograph is, you should. You can find more information about this brilliant personal teletype online, including this fine page from Greg Fudacz. So it’s not little-known to everyone, but I think it deserves to bring up the rear of this parade.


  1. RobertG

    O dear, whatever happened to that poor Zenit?

  2. Mark

    The Xcel has some crazy looking stuff going on in the basket.. is it like a Yost front stroke?

  3. Richard P

    Good question. I have been wondering the same thing, but I can't figure out what is going on. Maybe we could consult patents.

  4. Rob MacKillop

    I've loved this series, Richard. Many thanks for it.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


typewriter revolutionary factory logo




Dept. of Philosophy
Xavier University
3800 Victory Pkwy.
Cincinnati, OH. 45207