Monday, March 11, 2024

Jewett no. 2 typewriter

This 1895 Jewett no. 2 is a recent addition to my collection. I haven't bought a 19th-century typewriter for years—much less a big one—but this was so pretty that I couldn't resist. It's in near-mint condition, with the original pinstripes and hand-painted details. There's even an original purple ribbon.

This serial number looks like 8113:

But note the 6113 painted inside the front frame:

That interesting notched wheel is part of the ribbon mechanism. As the carriage moves, the shaft of the ribbon spools moves horizontally, and the wheel turns one notch, ensuring that the entire 1.25-inch-wide ribbon is used in a zigzag pattern.

Take a look:

The name of the company still reflects its initial, disastrous attempt to market a typewriter that could print two characters at once. The Duplex is one of the rarest collectible machines.



  1. What a gorgeous machine! I note that there's no typeface specimen on - does it work? Or are you too afraid of ripping that beautiful ribbon?!

    1. The typewriter works quite well, but the ribbon is dried out. I need to find a 1.25"-wide ribbon to produce a good typing sample.

  2. Very good-looking machine! Better you than me collecting the underslappers (: