Tytell Typewriter
Barr Typewriter
Tytell Typewriter
Martin Tytell

Martin K. Tytell

An identical sample of the Tytell prototype hasn't yet been found but the very-ordinary-looking Barr at the top of this page is actually the only known missing link between Barr and Tytell. Though it still read "Barr" across its paper table, it was also stamped with "Tytell Type Co." across the bottom rear part of the frame as well as with an unknown designation, "Landon 1." Tytell-Barrs were issued a new serial number sequence, too. The one on this page is no.1019 which indicates that a new sequence may have started with no.1000 and that there may as many as 18 missing links just waiting to be found.

The Tytell-Barr was purchased directly from Martin's son, Peter Van Tytell (1945 - 2020). When asked, Peter could not recall ever seeing the experimental model. It's unfortunate but, to be fair, Peter would have been just 6-years-old when his father was working on it.

Tytell-Barr Typewriter

ca.1951

Tytell Typewriter Co.

New York, NY, US

In 1951, The Barr-Morse Co. of Ithaca, NY was purchased by a storied typewriter dealer, repairman and expert, foreign keyboards and typeface forensics. Martin Kenneth Tytell (1913 - 2008), a.k.a. "Mr. Typewriter," and the Tytell Typewriter Co. of New York City took complete ownership of the Barr brand, remaining stock and tooling. Martin's intentions were to update the Barr and place it back on the market as his own. The image below is of that machine from a January 1951 issue of Mechanix Illustrated. Dubbed "The Typewriter of Tomorrow," its 1950s look is simultaneously familiar and foreign.

Tytell Typewriter

Here is a description of Martin Tytell's prototype from the Mechanix Illustrated story:

"It took him eight years of laborious research to develop. Although most of its parts are in the process of being patented and are still secret, Tytell is willing to divulge two revolutionary features. One is based on the principle of a self-generating flashlight. Every time the carriage on his dream typewriter moves back and forth, it builds up juice for tiny batteries that provide the typewriter with its own built-in source of illumination. A second feature enables the typist to adjust keyboard pressure for either side of the typewriter so that a left-handed typist, for example, can fix the keys to take the extra pressure of his left hand."

See an original flyer from the Tytell Typewriter Co. of the some of the exotic typefaces offered here...

Have more info? Have a Tytell Typewriter for sale? Email me at Antikey.Chop@gmail.com or call +1 (860) 729-2252