--Smith Premier Typewriter, 1896
The Smith Premier is the "classic" double-keyboard typewriter.
The double, or "full-keyboard," with a separate key for every
character was considered a honest-to-gosh alternative to typewriters with
shift keys for capitals. Double-keyboard promoters thought it was confusing
to have to press TWO keys when you wanted capitals. Heck, some machines
had only three rows of keys, and you pressed one shift key for capitals,
and a different one for numerals & punctuation.
Believe it or not, the Smith Premier was one of the two most-popular typewriters
of its day (Remington was the other). If it weren't for 10-finger touch
typing, the double keyboard would still be with us today.
The Smith Premier No. 2 is the most common of this line. The most desirable
is the No. 1 (1889), but those are pretty common, too.
The "Smith" family of Smith Premier is the same that started the
later company which later became Smith-Corona. It was the longest-lived
name in the typewriter business until Smith-Corona declared bankruptcy in
Machine from Dickerson collection.
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