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The Chicago No.3 Typewriter

The Chicago No.3

​1903 - 1912

Chicago Writing Machine Company

Chicago, Illinois, US

When the No.3 was first sold it did not replace The Chicago No.1 model as one might assume. The two were actually produced concurrently. Though in principle they functioned in the same general manner, they are obviously quite different physically.

There were four patent dates stamped into the erasing plate of the No.3, of which the three earliest were also stenciled onto the No.1. One of those three patents, patent no.446,394, related to the unique ribbon orientation which was implemented with the No.3. The last date, which was only stamped on the No.3, was July, 8 1902. It corresponds to patent no.704,218 for the hammer mechanism improvement.

Compared to the No.1 model, the Chicago No.3 typewriter had a much flatter & lower top plate, its more open which included a keyboard that was not wrapped by a frame. The base of the carriage was slotted which further eliminated seemingly unnecessary iron. The No.3 was, thus, lighter. Also differentiating the two models were their ribbon mechanisms. The No.3 utilized a thinner 3/8" ribbon which fed through angled spools standing vertically atop the typewriter. The carriage release lever, which was to the right of the ribbon spools on the No.1, was moved to the left. Lastly, two additional keys were added on both sides of the No.3's spacebar: a backspace and a margin release. For all these changes The Chicago Writing Machine Company charged an extra $15 for the No.3. The final price: $50.

The Chicago No.3 Typewriter

Functionally the two models were very similar. Both models had the peculiar WERTY keyboard layout. Both utilized a typesleeve and a Hammond-like hammer to print. To use either model, the typist had to pull a "hammer extension arm" from the left side of the carriage prior to typing.

The Chicago No.3 Typewriter Patent

Production of the No.3 ended when the company was bought by the Galesburg Writing Machine Company in 1912.

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