1901 - 1903

August D. Meiselbach Typewriter Co.

Kenosha, Wisconsin, US

The machine commonly referred to as the Sholes Visible was designed and patented in 1891 (patent no.464.902) by none other than Christopher Latham Sholes, of Sholes & Glidden fame, before his passing.

 

The design was to be a major improvement in typewriter alignment. C.L. Sholes was convinced his new design would address misalignment issue that occurred after a typewriter was used for a long time. To achieve this, the typebars of the Sholes Visible struck from the center, an innovative first (and last).

As stated, C. Latham Sholes died prior to seeing his typewriter enter the market. It was his sons, Louis C. (1849 - 1914) and Frederick Sholes (1847 - 1933), that produced the typewriter under the C. Latham Typewriter Company name. Unfortunately for the brothers their company hadn't done well, but that wasn't yet the end for the typewriter.  In fact that was just the beginning of the second chapter for the typewriter.

 

Enter August D. Meiselbach (1863 - 1935) to whom the misfortune of the Sholes brothers seemed like a perfect opportunity to capitalize on their name.  Meiselbach, a prominent Milwaukee businessman in the bicycle manufacturing, bought the rights to the Sholes typewriter on St. Patrick's Day of 1900 and began production at the reconditioned Wagner Pulley Works factory in 1901. Unfortunately, like the Sholes brothers' attempt, August Meiselbach's venture was also a failure which ended in 1903. August Meiselbach went on to form the A.G. Meiselbach Motor Wagon Company which was apparently quite lucrative.

 

That still wasn't the end of the typewriter although the last chapter is quite uneventful. Frederick Sholes seemed to have had a need to ensure his father's legacy (or maybe his own). He filed for several patents for improvements to the Sholes in 1900, 1902 and 1907.

It is unclear how many more Sholes Visibles were produced after 1903 when August D. Meiselbach left the picture. Lastly, in the early 1920 as frontstrike typewriters were the norm, Frederick Sholes produced the Diamond. It was really nothing more than a Sholes Visible base with a common frontsrike type basket affixed to it.  

 

Of the models I've seen, the one on this page is the later model with its long return lever hanging down the right side of the carriage. Earlier examples would have had a pinch-style return lever in its stead.

Sholes Visible

Have one for sale? I'm interested. Email me at Antikey.Chop@gmail.com