Obviously, The Densmore name carried some gravitas. But, since J. Densomre died in 1899, and Densmore typewriter production hadn't begun until 1891, he had little to do with the machines. James' brothers Amos (1825 - 1898) and Emmett (1837 - 1911), instead, took advantage of their fortuitous moniker. Amos had experience in manufacturing while Emmett had the necessary deep pockets. Two other men were also instrumental in the development of the Densmore. They were Walter J. Barron and Franz X. Wagner, the primary designers (see patent no.484,132).

1892 - 1894

Densmore Typewriter Co.

Springfield, Massachusetts, US

James Densmore (1820 - 1889) was quite instrumental in the development, and eventual production, of the first commercially successful typewriter, the Sholes & Glidden. If it wasn't for his initial investment, and subsequent financial backing during the machine's developmental years, one can only speculate if the Sholes and Glidden crafted would have actually been mass produced. It was, after all, James Densmore who contacted salesman George Washington Newton Yost, who in turn found a buyer and manufacturer in The E. Remington & Sons Company.

I would love to upgrade to a Densmore No.1A. Have one for sale? Please email me at Antikey.Chop@gmail.com

There were three versions of the No.1 model which were all produced in Springfield, Massachusetts at The Merritt Manufacturing Company. That was the same factory that produced the Merritt index typewriter. The Densmore brothers eventually bought the Merritt factory and changed its name to The Densmore Typewriter Company.

The earliest version of the Densmore, No.1A, was easily identifiable by its ringed linkage and a nameplate in front of the carriage. The second version, No.1B, like the one at the top and bottom of this page, no longer had the ringed linkage nor the nameplate. The 3rd version, No.1C, was marked with "No.1" where the nameplate used to be. All of the No.1 models had upstrike typebar arrangements. Their keyboard had 38 keys which could produce 76 characters. By 1894 a No.2 model was marketed with 42 keys that produced 84 characters. Each subsequent model was clearly marked.

Densmore (No.1B)

What distinguished Densmores from other typewriters was their carriage which was completely and easily removable. Furthermore, the platen could be removed from the carriage just as easily. Another innovation was their ball bearing typebars which produced a smoother typing experience and which the company marketed as "The Ball Bearing Densmore."