Wanted: The Eureka Typewriter
The "Eureka Type-writer" was produced ca.1885 by the Eureka Typewriter Company. Though the business was located at 23 Duane St. in New York City, it was incorporated in New Jersey. Though I am unsure if a patent was ever actually awarded, the typewriter itself is marked with "Pat. Apl'd For." Construction consists of a wood base with a pair of rails and a round, spring-loaded index with rubber type. Overall, it's very crude. The Eureka measures just 9-1/2" long by 3" wide and it was sold predominantly through mail order.
Along with other similarly basic typewriters, the Eureka was part of a scam that offered users money for typed papers. First, of course, one had to buy the machine itself for $2. Because of how crudely the typewriter was constructed, it proved impossible to type quickly and accurately. It would have taken a lifetime for even the most proficient user to produce enough text to cover just the initial cost of the machine. Such mail order scams were officially forced to cease operating in July of 1903 by the Postmaster. However, it is unlikely that the Eureka was held liable for such deceitful marketing since it was not produced outside of the 1880s.
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