The Visible


Dates of Manufacture Unknown

Visible Typewriter Company

New York, US


The only things known about this typewriter are the things we can derive from inspecting the machine itself. We don't have a patent number nor the name of its inventor. How many were produced and when are also both unknown. There are no old advertisements to suggest this machine was ever marketed which means we don't know what their cost was. For all the things we don't know, this typewriter shouldn't even exist. Yet here it is.

So what do we know? We know the name of these typewriters, The Visible Index, and the name of the company, Visible Typewriter Company of New York, because the machine is stenciled with this information. We know that key features included a circular index, a standard carriage with a wood platen, an ink roller, a spring-loaded escapement and a pull cord used to advance the carriage. We can also surmise that this machine should have cost more than a typical index typewriter because of its larger size, the quality of the material used to produce it, and because the elaborate floral embellishments of the front base and of the paper table could not have been inexpensive to reproduce.

Lastly, we know how The Visible Index functioned. To use, a character would've been selected from the index, turned towards the platen and then pushed down to make an impression. The pull cord would then be used to advance the carriage by one space. It was a two-hand operation.

The other thing I know is that I would love to find more of these typewriters and find more information about who made them and when. Please contact me at