Lambert

ca.1900

Lambert Typewriter Co.

New York, New York, US

The Lambert was created by French-American Francoise (Frank) Lambert (1851 - 1937), a prolific inventor. Fun fact: Frank's voice is credited as the one heard on the second oldest known recording still playable on its original device. Anyway, back to one of my favorite typewriters...

Based on the filing date for patent no.306,761, Frank began working on his typewriter as early as 1883. The patent, which was awarded in 1884, reflects a design very similar to the final product. Frank, however, would not fully engage himself with developing and producing the Lambert for another 15+ years. Instead, he and his business partner, John Thomson, spent that time developing the Thomson Water Co., a water meter manufacturer. These meters would prove to be their most lucrative inventions. The two men's partnership dissolved in 1892 when Thompson moved and left Frank with the company, the name and the factory on the corner of Washington and York in Brooklyn.

Just before the turn of the 20th century Frank finally committed to producing his typewriter. In the year 1900 his machine went into production at his water meter factory. Lambert typewriters were less complicated compared to other brands, being constructed of just 101 parts, which resulted in a smaller price tag. By 1900, though, most major manufacturers were either producing or developing archetypal frontstrike, four-bank, single-shift typewriters, like the Underwood Standard. If Frank had produced his typewriter in 1884 when it was originally patented it may have been a better fit. The odd thing is that, despite being the wrong typewriter at the wrong time, a respectable quantity of about 17,000 were still produced among three various models. A lot of the Lambert's success was due to an aggressive marketing campaign in Western Europe. 

There were just a few, small differentiating characteristics between model Nos.1 and 2. The most significant of these distinctions was the No.1's ability to print  a very basic italics typeface by rotating the keyboard slightly, In truth, it did no more than print the characters a little tilted. Again, very basic italic typeface. Both Nos.1 & 2 had an embossed base which was redesigned with the No.3 model to a flat, stenciled one. The first 3,300-or-so No.1 models, like the one on this page, were produced within the 1st couple years on Brooklyn.

Lamberts were licensed by the Gramophone Company in order to be produced abroad. Nipper the dog, the one was used in all those famous Gramophone ads, was also used to sell Lamberts. Garden City and Butler are known name variants.

And, no, the Lambert isn't an index typewriter. While using a Lambert, one does not select a character from an index. It has a complete keyboard that one may manipulate with either one hand or two. In lieu of typebars, the Lambert utilizes a type stamp.

Early Lamberts were furnished with a beautiful dome-top case which which had a handsome Saturn logo on top. Later models, like the No.3, were sold with an uninspired-same-as-everyone-else rectangular case. I don't state this often about typewriter cases, but, a Lambert No.1 without its dome-top case simply isn't complete.

Need an Instruction Manual for your Lambert? Get it here...

Comments? Have a Lambert Typewriter for sale? Please email me at Antikey.Chop@gmail.com or call +1 860-279-2252

Frank Lambert