The English

​1890 - 1907

The English Type Writer Ltd

London, England, UK

At first glance "The English Standard Type - Writer" looks a lot like an Ideal (curved keyboard) Hammond No.1. And, I have to agree, looking directly at it it does resemble the Hammond on a superficial level, but its carriage, carriage levers and front-downstrike typebar arrangement remind me of the earliest Bar-Lock typewriters, too. Also note in the advertisement below 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. in 1890 (U.S. patent no.464,868). French, Swiss and German patents were issued in 1892. Its 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 North 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.

If you have more information please email me. I would really love to find images of the two inventors or any other relevant artifacts.

Comments? Have an English Typewriter for sale? Please email me at or call +1 (860) 729-2252