The English is a very elusive typewriter, especially outside the U.K. If you have questions, comments or more information please email me. I would really love to find images of the two inventors. Obviously, if you have an English for sale, email me now (please)! Antikey.Chop@gmail.com
1890 - 1907
The English Type Writer Limited
London, England, UK
At first glance "The English Standard Type - Writer" looks a lot like a Hammond No.1 with the ideal (curved) keyboard. After further review, yes, it does resemble the Hammond from the front on a superficial level. However, its return levers, front-downstrike typbar arrangement and carriage remind me of the earliest Bar-Lock typewriters, too. In old advertisements I've also noticed that The English had a paper basket which looked like a precursor, in form, to that of the North's.
The English first appeared in the U.K. and U.S. (U.S. patent no.464,868) in 1890. French, Swiss and German patents were issued in 1892. The inventors were Michael Hearn and Morgan Donne, both residents of London. The English had a 29-key keyboard with a double-shift mechanism which generated 87 characters. It was inked by ribbon.
Ads for this machine seem to be restricted to just one year, 1891. The asking price of £18,18s also included a wooden base and tin cover. The company's sales office was located at 2 Leadenhall Street while the actual factory was at 57D Hatton Garden.
By May of 1892 the company had accumulated too much liability and the process of selling it off, by court order, had begun. Two years later on April 23, 1894 the sale of the company was complete and the new owner of all the patents, tooling and machinery was Colonel John North. Both Michael Hearn and Morgan Donne stayed with the new owner and went on to invent for him their most successful typewriter, the North's. Though not active, The English Typewriter Ltd. was on the books until it was officially dissolved in 1907.