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Westphalia Typewriter

Brackelsberg named the typewriter after the German province where he lived, Westphalia (some ads have the name spelled as Westfalia). He first patented it in 1884 in Germany (patent no.31,985), then in several other European countries during 1885, and finally in the United States in 1886 under patent no.335,887. E.W. Brackelsberg & Company was set up in Hagen, Westphalia to sell this "buchdruck-schreibmaschine" (letterpress typewriter).

Westphalia Typewriter




E.W. Brackelsberg & Cie.

Hagen, Westphalia, Germany

With this index typewriter, Ernst Wilhelm Brackelsberg may have invented the slowest typewriter in history. In 1888, Dinglers Polytechnisches Journal, Volume 267, reported that the machine produced just 8 to 12 words per minute. But I forgive Brackelsberg. Why? Well, just look at what an elegant blend of iron and steel he created.

Westphalia Typewriter

I would like to note briefly how gorgeous the cast iron stand is. It may very well be the most beautiful typewriter stand to have even been produced. Stunning!

Underwood Music Typewriter

As the advertisement above suggests, and if I'm reading the patent correctly, the Westphalia utilized interchangeable brass type slugs for printing, similar to those of a letterpress and reminiscent of the Merritt typewriter. This would allow a single typewriter to type from a bevy of typefaces (see samples). Ink was applied by carbon paper. The Westphalia was also capable of differential spacing.

Questions? Comments? Have more information on the typewriter or about its inventor? Do you have a Westphalia Typewriter, because I would be very interested in it. Please email me at or call +1 (860) 729-2252

Westfalia Typewriter
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