1887 - 1924
Yost Writing Machine Co.
Bridgeport, Connecticut, US
Distinguishing the first three models of Yost typewriters can be tricky because they were so similarly named and similar in appearance. They were the Yost, New Yost No.1 and The New Yost, in that order.
The first model, a true Yost No.1, ca.1887, wasn't clearly marked as such. However, it did have a pair of medallions impressed into the rear parts of the base that subsequent models did not.
The second model was clearly marked as the New Yost No.1, ca.1889.
The third model was marked as The New Yost, ca.1891.
Things finally started to make a little more sense ca,1895 with the fourth model. It clearly read Yost No.4 across its paper table. Model Nos.6 - 9 were wide-carriage version of the No.4.
(click here to see a Yost No.4 souvenir booklet illustrated by Henry Herbault for the 1900 World Exposition held in Paris)
It wasn't until the No.10 model was released in 1905 that the appearance of the Yost was significantly altered. The No.10's frame enclosed more of its inner mechanisms which gave it a bulkier build. Despite the new form the No.10 was still obviously a Yost because, functionally, it was similar to its predecessors and as we all know, form follows function.
All of the models up to the No.10 were designed with typebars that kicked like grasshopper legs hung in a circular, upstrike arrangement. These Yosts also had a full, double keyboard. Their inking and type alignment mechanism were also all the same. The difference among these models were minimal (except for the bulkiness of the No.10). Most changes were minor cosmetic details or slight structural upgrades. Their escapement was constantly tweaked, too. Model Nos.11 - 14 were wide-carriage version of the No.10.
Change came when market pressures forced the Yost company to produce a more modern machine. As a result, the No.15, introduced in 1908, was a true departure from the old. Yes, it still carried the Yost name, but its design was almost wholly a clone of every other four-bank standard typewriter being produced. One difference from its contemporaries was that Yosts retained their grasshopper typebars but in a frontstrike arrangement rather than the old upstrike manner.
In 1912 the Yost No.20 was placed on the market which was very similar to the No.15. It was available until 1924.
George Washington Newton Yost
Most Yosts were produced by the Yost Writing Machine Co. at 1087-1155 Railroad Ave. in Bridgeport, CT. They were the invention of George Washington Newton Yost (1831 - 1895) who, years earlier in 1872, played a key role in convincing Remington to produce the first commercially successful typewriter, the Sholes & Glidden.
Production in Bridgeport ended in 1920 when then Yost's parent company, the Remington Typewriter Co., moved production to Flushing, NY. The building in Bridgeport was demolished decades later.
In 1923 Remington sold the Flushing factory and moved production to Syracuse, NY, probably to the Smith-Premier factory which it also owned. The version of the No.20 produced in Syracuse had its grasshopper typebars replaced with modern frontstrike ones and its ribbon spools moved from inside the machine to the top. These were the last Yosts produced.
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