Bennett Typewriter Co.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, US
Charles Almon Bennett (1850 - 19??) began manufacturing this typewriter in 1910. Though it he named it after himself, it was actually the successor to the Junior (patent no.670,889) which was introduced in 1907. The Junior lacked a paper table, utilized ink rollers and was plagued with alignment issues. Within the Bennett, the alignment problems were addressed (patent no.810,245), ribbon spools replaced the ink rollers and a folding paper table was added.
Early advertisements suggest that Bennett resolved to manufacture the most portable typewriter available which still had a fully functional keyboard. And at just $18, the price tag was small, too. The ads also let us know that the typewriters were, in Bennett's opinion, outsourced to be "...made from best materials, by experts..." at the Elliott-Fisher Billing Machine Factory in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Bennett had no factory of his own, just sales offices. Marketing campaigns targeted professionals on the go.
Typing on one of these is, well, not great. The keys are much too close together which causes the typist to regularly press the wrong key and after extended typing the wrists would begin to hurt. Interestingly, when any one key in any tier is pressed, all the keys under it will depress as well. For example, press the q and the a & z keys also depress, press the i and the k & n will also depress. Pressing the awkwardly positioned space bar will depress the t, y, g & h keys. too. If one could type quickly with this machine, the Blickensderfer-like typewheel would probably never jam so that's a plus.
Bennetts measure about 11" by 5" by 2" and weigh just 4-1/2 lbs. They type 84 characters from a standard QWERTY layout. Most Bennetts have an aluminum finish while some are black. A 1912 ad claims that there were 22,000 Bennetts already in use, which is plausible.
Ultimately, Charles A. Bennett's little dynamo is the smallest typewriter ever produced with a full keyboard. They well both stateside and abroad.
Need a User's Manual for your Bennett? Get it here...
Have a Bennett Typewriter for sale or other Bennett artifacts? Please email me at Antikey.Chop@gmail.com or call +1 (860) 729-2252