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The Writing Ball

“In 1865 what many consider to be the true ancestor to true, efficient,
and financially successful typewriter was developed by Rasmus
Malling-Hansen: The Writing Ball. Not only was it efficient, but
also strangely elegant, even beautiful: just look at it – a brass
half-sphere covered with keys above a cylinder that held the paper. It
was finely made, unlike some of the unsuccessful machines before,
looking more like a gentleman’s watch than a piece of office equipment”

Full article with with additional pictures and links here.

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  1. Sheryl Skytower Sheryl Skytower October 20, 2010


    I wantz!!!


    • Sky Netizen Sky Netizen October 20, 2010

      Vintage typewriters = love

      I own two myself and use them whenever possible. Nothing beats the sound of hitting those keys, though you have to hit the heck out of them!

      And of course I didn’t name my typewriters, that would just be obsessive… *shifty eyes*

  2. Elilka Sieyes Elilka Sieyes October 20, 2010

    Nice. Looks comfortable, too.

  3. Yang Moreau Yang Moreau October 22, 2010

    Such an elegant design! I wonder what they key layout looks like from top, if it’s alphabetical or  qwerty or something else. Looks like the numbers are along the bottom. This has me wondering if my Dad’s old typewriter still works…!

    • Canolli Capalini Canolli Capalini November 2, 2010

      Actually, it used neither alphabetical nor qwerty.  What the article does not mention is where the inspiration for this strange device came from.  REVERAND Rasmus Hans Malling Johan Hansen (1835-1890) was a teacher and director at a school for the deaf and dumb in Copenhagen.  This invention was not designed for commercial success (though it was relatively successful especially with the subsequent models), but initially designed and created as a tool for his students to “speak” to the world with.  The keyboard was laid out in such a manner the good Reverand thought would be more conducive to the students hands.. essentially, the first “ergonomic” keyboard.  <grins>

      It was the intention of the device that caught my attention more so than the actual success when I initially saw a picture of one of these elegant machines roughly 2 years ago.  I would love to see one in person, and even more so.. see one in operation.  They were also not inexpensive to make, but they certainly do look lovely sitting upon a desk, don’t they? 

      When I made mine in SL, it was primmier than it could have been, but I wanted the keys to actually move, so when it gives you a notecard, the keys actually do type out a few words. :)

  4. Canolli Capalini Canolli Capalini October 30, 2010

    I should like to mention that I actually have a notecard giver that is one of these for sale at CFF..

  5. Breezy Carver Breezy Carver October 31, 2010

    grins i wondered if you were going to make mention of  it  Miss Canolli  *smiles*  a stunning one I might add ..  just mho .. of course ! 

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