Torrani & Co. of Milan, Italy produced the Taurus in 1908 and its inventors were Pietro Torrani and Giovanni Zanini. It is self evident that portability was the primary motive behind the design. That did not start nor stop with the Taurus. Other extremely compact typewriters included the Pocket and Typen, and whether they produced or just protoyped did not matter. They were all clumsy, cumbersome and really quite useless.
It should be noted that Torrani and Zanini may not have been the original designers of the Taurus. Japanese inventor Suyemoto Fujiki was issued US patent no.464,355 almost 20 years prior in 1891 for a suspiciously similar machine for which the patent had conveniently expired. The primary difference being that Fujiki's design printed on a flat sheet of paper while the latter design printed on a strip housed within the devise which expelled from its lower left hand side.
Torrani & Co.
The Italian company that produced the Taurus Type, as it was originally named, marketed it as, "Una macchina per scrivere nel taschino del giletaIt," which translates to, "A typewriter in a vest pocket." Just as the slogan suggests, at 2-3/4" in diameter, it was one of the smallest typewriters ever produced. Unlike the slogan suggests, calling it a typewriter is actually a bit of a stretch. By today's standards the Taurus would be nothing more than a glorified label maker.
To operate a Taurus the user would spin the circular index to the desired character and then press the bottom at the top of the typewriter. This caused the strip of paper to be pressed against the character to print. Ink transferred to the characters as they passed by a pair of rollers. The strip of paper then advanced by one space and out through a slit in the case.
By all accounts the Taurus was a failure. Very few were produced and fewer have survived. Neither the firm nor either of the two inventors produced another typewriter prior to or since the Taurus.
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