Sholes Typewriter

Christopher 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. It was an innovative first (and last).

Louis C. Sholes

Louis C. Sholes

As stated, Christopher died prior to his typewriter entering 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. Unfortunately for the brothers the company hadn't done well, but that wouldn't be 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 bicycle manufacturer, bought the Sholes on March 17, 1900 and began producing it in 1901 at the reconditioned Wagner Pulley Works factory. Unfortunately Meiselbach's venture was also a failure ending in 1903. He went on to form the A.G. Meiselbach Motor Wagon Company which was apparently quite lucrative.

Sholes Visible

​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.

Sholes Visible Typewriter Patent
August D. Meiselbach

August D. Meiselbach

A. D. Meiselbach Manufacturing Company
Meiselbach Sholes Visible Typewriter Ad

Just how many more Sholes Visibles were produced after 1903 is unclear because that still wasn't the end of the story for the typewriter. Frederick Sholes seemed quite fixed with the machine. He filed several more patents in 1900, 1902 and 1907 to improve upon it and, in the early 1920's, when frontstrike typewriters were the norm, Frederick prototyped the Diamond. The Diamond appears to have been nothing more than a Sholes Visible with a modern frontsrike type basket affixed to it.

Sholes Visibles were really, really well built. But, as Frederick found out, the very design element that his father had hoped would solve the alignment issues, the center-frontsrike typebars, was also a deathknell. They typebars were a traffic jam waiting to happen severely curtailing the typing speed of the machine.

Diamond Typewriter

The Sholes Visible on this, with its long return lever hanging down the right side of the carriage page is a later example. Earlier examples had a pinch-style return lever instead like the one in the ad.

It's also possible that there was an even earlier version, like the one here, but none like it have yet been found.

Sholes Typewriter

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