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Publication numberUS919432 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 27, 1909
Filing dateJun 7, 1906
Priority dateJun 7, 1906
Publication numberUS 919432 A, US 919432A, US-A-919432, US919432 A, US919432A
InventorsHenry C Horstmann
Original AssigneeSamuel Evans, John Howard Mcelroy, Henry C Horstmann
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrical type-writer.
US 919432 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)




Patented Apr. 27, 1909.




. hm x mm 3 SHEETS-SHEET 2.

Patented Apr. 27, 1909.



. 919,432, Patented Apr. 27, 1909.





Patented A rn 27, 1909.

To all whom-it may concern:

Be it known that I, HENRYC. HoRs'rMANN', a citizen of the United States, and resident of Chicago, in the county of Cook and'State of' Illinois, have invented certain new and usefullmprovements in Electrical Type-Write s, &c., of which the following is a specification.

My intention isconcerned -with a novel electrical typewriter, or similar machine for producing characters, and more es ecially with the ke board or selecting mec anism thereof, which-preferably consists of two parts: one of which may be of the ordinary construction or somewhat similar, and is used for ordinary writing; while the second is radically different and is used'for form writ ing, as will be explained hereafter.

.To illustrate my invention, I annex hereto three sheets of drawings in which the same reference characters are used to designate identical parts in all thefigures, of which Figure 1 is a lon itudinal section through a type-writer embo ying my invention Fig. 2

is a top plan view of the'keyboardyFim 3 is a vertical sectional view of amodified ibrm of one of the keys or finger pieces; Fig. 4 is a top .plan'view ofanother modification of the finger pieces; Fig. "5 is a top Iplan view of a portion of the auxiliary key oard used for writing form letters ;-Fig. 6 is a sectional view ol the same-on the line A'A of Fi 5; Fig. 7 is a sectional view on the line B of Fig. 6

I and with the sliding circuit closing key shown in position and in cross section; Fig. 8 is a top plan viewof a portion of the apparatus showmg the wiring for a certain portion of the form letter; Fig. 9 is a perspective view of one of the adjustable shifting contacts Fig.

1() is a somewhat diagrammatlc view slmilar to F1 5, but showing the complete circuits; and Fig. 11 1s asectional vIew through the swee Ing contact. s

W ere '111 lnventlon Is to-be used In connection wit 1 a typewriter, frame work 11 is employed In which'are mounted the custom- I ary parallel operating bars'l2, which may be either arranged one'for "each character, as in the Smith Prennerjmachme, or'one'for two characters, such as 11 per and lower case letters, etc., as m the emlngton machlne, by

the use of shift keys, of=-which may be arranged for as many as'thl'e characters for I each member by the use oftwo shift keys. The details of the connections between the" bars 12 and the type bars (not shown) are en tirely immaterial, and are not illustrated. Each of the bars 12 is provided With an armature 13 located at a considerable distance above the contact ti s 14 of the poles of the electromagnets 15 w 'ch are located beneath the forward ends of the bars, and which are preferably staggered, asshown, in order to reduce the space occu ied by them. The electromagnet for each lleybar is included in a separate, or branch circuit so that when that branch circuit is closed, the electromagnet will attract the armature of its coeperating bar 12 and cause the character to be pr nted in the customary manner. a

The framework '16 for the keyboard may be built'up in any desired manner, but it Is preferably arranged in the same manner as is shown In my application No. 313,155, filed April 23, 1906, in which a series of ten keys, five for each hand, 'are employed and are made adjustable by the mechanism shown so as to be adjustable for use by the hand of the particular operator using the machine, it, of course, being understood that the operator having a small hand will employs difierent adjustment of the keys from one having a lar er or diiferently shaped hand.

nstead of em loying a single key movable in a pluralipfy of different directions to procure the di erent letters, in my present invention, I preferably entploty a p urality of keys or'contacts groupe a out a common center and arranged so that themovement of the finger devoted to that center in different directions will close different contacts, thereby causing the selection of the character by the direction of movement of the finger. To conveniently group these contacts about the center and keep the fingers readily in position, '1 preferably employ the cups 17 which are preferably of insulating material, and which are secured in the desired position of adjustment by the wing nut 18 being tightened on the threaded stud 19 pro'ectin downward from the bottom thereof t ro ili g1 wontacts 22 in the branch circuits are screwed through the walls of thecups 17, and the cooperatingconta'cts 23-eare preferably formed 0 spring metal havingthelr ends secured on '20 upper case letter, for instance, is to be the inside of the cu s s17, and held out of engagement with the contacts22 by reason of their shape and location. The fingeris normally held resting on the screw 24 locating the center of the cup and it will be seen that as the finger is swung to theright or to l theleft or forward or back a diiferent branch circuit will be closed and a different letter formed. on the bars '12 areeach arrange to print two characters by the employment of the shifting'apparatus, I employ a shift bar similar to 12 which is controlled by a branch circuit the same as the bars 12,- and.

having the plurality of connected contacts 25 above whic are located the cot'iperatim con tacts 26, which, as shown, are preferably of sprin metal radiating from the common center w 'ch is connected in the circuit so that by depressing any of the arms the circuit through the shift vbaris closed. when an v the finger. I

i In F1 3.1 have shown a slightmodifica tion of this construction, in which in addition to the contacts 22 and 23', I employ thecontacts 27 in circuit with'or connected to the contacts 22 and the contacts 28 similar to the contacts 26 and the similar contacts 29 immediately abovethe contacts 28 but in sulated therefrom, the circuits being so ar-' ranged that when the contacts 29 contact with-the contacts 28 the circuit is closed through the shift bar. The operation of this form ofkey be asfollows; When a lower case letter or character not requiring the operation of' th'e shift bar is, to be printed, the operatorsimply moves his finger to the-right or left or forward or re'arwar without mov bar is to be printed, instea ing it downward so as to close the appropriate contacts 22'.-and 2-3. When, however, an upper case letteror one-re ulring the shift g of moving the finger horizontally, he moves it downt'vardly in the same general direction, thus first closin the contacts 29 and 28 to operate the shift key and then in the further movement closing-,th'e contacts 28 and 27 to print the desired character.

In Fig; A, 1 illustrate still another medification in which no shift has is employed,

but in which. the ciips 30 are changed iii-their design so as to accommodate a greater num- -ber. of contacts 31 and 352, the ke'y being shown as an elongated rectangle ,and'apro-t vided withe' ht sets of contacts, one at each end, two on t 9' sides, andtwo inthe bottom,

all the contacts bein straight tri' of spring metal, the outer ends of whic are held ust out of engagement with; the. con:

erases tactsiil, as shown. The tip of the finger is screw or lug 33 so that from this point as a center, any esired letter in that cup can be ops erated by moving it in the proper direction.

"ith the keyboard of my invention thus far described, no great increase of speed over the presentforrn of typewriters is possible, the main'advant'age being in the simplifica-- 'tion of the keyboard mechanism .b which the fingers do not have to be shifte around to different points of the board, and all charact'ers can be printed. with much smaller movements of the fingers and with thefex penditure of much less-force.

v portion of the correspondence cons sts o the use of rapidly constitutes a portion of my inven tion As an exam lo, a stock letter for deal-t .ers in certain m'erc andise might be made up as follows:

Stock Letter. I Dear Madamzef Dear Sir Gentlemen We are in receipt of your favor of. the q and in reply will say that we can-not fill your order at once before the r We do not i ask for at all but instead can send you which our experience has taught us is a-much superior article. We are temporarily goods you as for but will fill your order the moment our'fresh stock arrives, which will be in two or three days.

We can quote you prices, good next 30 days, as follows "ithin' the -tain redress from the carrier.

. We have referred your inquiry regarding v to our as soon as possible.

Our agent, Mr.

about 1 u on you then.

-' Your order concerning please notify us at your-earliest OOIIVBIHGIICB."

In the auxiliary keyboard or selecting certain phrases which apply to'that particu 1 lar business, and the employment of any such a form letter and means'for printing It i out of stock on the Will'be in. your cit I j and will be pleased-to cal 7 I is ear iie'it enough ndjweore at a loss to :ismw


normally held on the central positioning,

handle the make of goods you The terms you offer are not satisfactory to however, willing to help our customers-clo 20 and will forwardreply; 1

1 15 and we can-.'

raphers might be made .asfollows:

is e 1 1 5 the. dictation afloat is attached to. the (letter it answers, the tyPe-Wmtist can get name, address, date and-proper title from the letter and the corre' ending clerk need not fill in those items. 'l he. selection of the proper ending can also be lettto the judgmerit of the type-writist.

Mark each'sentence to be. usedwith a number in the order in which it'is to appear in the letter. Cross outall words that are not to be used and insert such as may be needed, but do not appear in the'text. If matter not'provided for in the sheet is tobe written, make check mark through 'lake additional matter. If phonograph dicta.- tion is used, outline section below,

In starting in with this system, it will be well to use the general stock etterand dictation-sheets supplied by the company and from time to time, when occasion presents, make note of such alterationsas your pan ticular business requires. will soon obtain a perfect lette'ranswen your requirements, and can have it print an large quantities and very cheaply, 40 company. We have quite a stock of such letters on hand and wi 1 be glad to help'you 'selectoner? I 'lihestock letter can readily be fitted. to an'ynh e in the dictation sheets and the always be identical.

Emm-an examination of this stock letter and 'the-instructions, it will; be readily Y parent that for the ordinary letter,

' dent would need merely to underscore apthe cor- ,60, s "phrases ashe desired to. use, as are. 1n-

luliontcd-on theform, and where it was neces- ,-'hecould write in 1n the blank spaces su.

'- h dldulot a pear on the forms. These sheets d are turned over to the opera-. ,toimnnd the auxiliary keyboard is designed .f to'rqroduce this form exactly, being espejciallyadjusted for the requirements of each business, and the operator, by sweeping the folm kegy- 344, shown in Fig. 7, over the contact; ooliesponding to the underscored portiQls-of the form letter, can readily write this. 5% desired, and that at a bi her 1 Ipoaqkthnn even a skilled operator working oaths present style of machines, as the ticular bar. with the channel 42, which preferably has the retintrant angles. or overhanging flanges, as shown, so that it will hold the contact pieces 43 therein.- These piecesj43are stamped up jout of thin coppe r or brass, and are of the Inthis way youstatements as might be necessary andlimit of the speed is that of the typewriting machine, and it is a well known fact that the speed of the most rapid operator is never equal to that of a well constructed machine. W hen any especial phrase appears. which is written in, as indicated in the form sheet, theoperator drops the form key-34 and using the ordinary keyboard 16 writes out the special matter and then resumes the form portion of the letter, and so until the letter is completed.

Referring now especially to Figs. 5 to 11, the auxiliary or form keyboard consists of the base-35, which is preferably of some insulating material, and is arranged to rest at the right of the ordinary keyboard or in suitable 'roximity thereto. At the ends of this keyard 35 are placed the rails 36, which are provided at intervals of each line correspondmg to the lines of the stock letter with the recesses 37 which are adapted to receive and position the ends of the contact cross bars 38. Secured ,on' the base piece 35 between each opposite pair of the recesses 37 is a strip 39 of some yielding elastic insulating material, such as soft rubber, and extending the entire length of the base board 35 and se- -oured at both ends, as by the binding screws 40, are the character strips 41,01 which there is one for each bar 12 of the machine. proper,

and it constitutes a portion of the circuit for,

the electromagpct '15, devoted to thatparhe cross bar 38 is provided shaple shown having'the base corresponding e shape of the channel in the bar 38 and the tip extending up into the plane of the downwardly projecting arm of-the contact piece 44 of the key 34. These contact pieces 43 are spaced apart by similarly shaped soft rubber'pieces'45, which, as seen in Fig. 6, are

a trifle shorter than the pieces 43, so that the tips of the contacts 43 will roject above the tips of the spreaders 45 so t lat as the key 34 is swept along the channel, its contact 44 will engage the tips of the pieces 43 one after another. Each of .the pieces 43 is devoted to a particular letter, asqappears at Fig. 8, and

the contents of the entire line is shown in the index characters 46, shown in Fig. 8, which appear on the index plate 47., which projects upwardly from the rear of the cross 'ece 38 along that particular crosspiece. All of the contacts 43 which operate the space bar, for instance, are connected by fine wire 48, which is insulated .to start with but which has a bit of the insulation scraped off at the point where it is passed between the .oontact piece 43 and the adjacent elastic spreader by'which .so that the operator can readily see t e charactors to be printed as the .key 34 is swept contact. Similarly, every letter is provided wiit li a wire, such as the wire 49 forthe lettenE-g and as. the stock'letter is .'set up, the wirin'g'of the letters of each lineisjdone at the sametime,

' and at the end ofit'he settingup-fof thattpar' ticular line, the'wire devdt'edrto eachp'arg 10 "42: is placed initsparticular character circuit with the minimumjamount, of wiring and stock lettero used..

, These bars are, {of course, conductors, and r" are connected at each crossp1ece38 with the} ticularlletter is connectedto'the "letter SiZ-I'lP- 41, as by the binding screw 57 resting on. the strip, so that it will be seen that each contact connections. Oi course, there will be as many of these cross lpiec es 38 employed as are necessary to accommodatethe f the concern wh-i For the-up er case letters, or characters operatedflby s chine'for which t eke'yboard is adapt inand's' them,'I providethe bar s 'fiO-an'd-Eitl cured to" the outer sides of the'rails 3 6.-

cross bars 52 and 53 These cross-bars 52 and 53 are also conductors, and are rovided opposite each of the contacts 43 Wii) the-recesses 54, which are preferably square or rectangular in outline-s6 as to receive'the shank 550i the shift -'contacts'5 6, which have their head portions. arranged in p0sitionfto be struck by the lateralarms of thecbntact- 44 'ust in advanceof the verticalarm: striking the contact 743, sot'hattl ie shift bar is op'er ated in advance of the character to be printed. Of course,'where the machine uses only one shift bar, one of the two shown on the draw- Y jingsinay be dmitted, and Ihave shown the conveniently secured Where it' crossesgits' proper! 4 58 may be employedfor each'cross piece 38.

index p1ate'4fi as,'for convenience, secured to the "shit bar 52;. The character connecting wires for each letterofeac'h cross piece 38 is strip 41, by Qmean's of-the screws '57, d t strips 41, as shown 111 Fig. '6. The set screws tosqueeze the contacts 43 and thelspacing pieces 45 together.

' the; sweeping key,

'5 the con ta,ct 44, theeircuit is completed irom,

In Fig- 10,1 have shown somewh'atydiagrammatically the arrangement oi the circuits for the stock letter. -.The battery 59. is connected by the flexible conductor- 60.With

44 adapted to sweep, oyer theccntacts' 43. When one of these corrtacts- 43 'is touched by 1thbatteryfthrough .lthe conductor 60, the

so to that a engagesthefcontact .43, the bar 41 belqnging rticularglfitter', a conductor 61, 651

61 as-t e casemaf be, depending upon the letter theelectromagnet1.actuat" the key ,IQYBIfOlillfifl-WQQ'W. and the conguctor 62 particular I h; it is to he tbars', if the particular-mag Q-f',

heads of these screws, 57 rest on the 34, which has. the contacts 7 zonta y proj the conductor "bars :52am 53 respectively-,-

rnaignets. which'actuate the shift bar The. setting up ofthe rm letter .for

is set up'upon one of the cross-pices35 the connections being made by theires 48 and l Such points" as the upper case etters, o particular chara te d n Will be readily apparent tha .tain a great speed writing the letters for 'tated by'the state ofthe prior art.

What I claim as Ilm-and'desire by LettersPatent to secure he a; e of contactstherein' an-index asso ciated therewith corresponding to closing contact adapted tonbe sweptover the lin closedby the engagementof the sweeping tromagnet in eachcircuit, andan operating member a closed. v, p 2. In a device of the class described, the combination with I ,longitpdinalholdenaline of contacts therein, {insulating spacing members .between said spacing members in pl 1 mated with. the, contacts to designate the swept over the linejof contacts, cirmnts-cor- ;w igtethe .difierent characters to be 16min to the batteryis the tort. eating portions Ofthilpdntaetsf 44 vengagewlth the" cntacts 56 attached to 'e i machine be readily; understood; The stock letter having been furnished, each line.

it :will be I maybe squall well oy s While Ihave shown and-described myin-- following claims except its-maybe necessi- 1."In' adevice of the class described, .a, board consisting of a longitudinal. holder, I

a keyboard'- -comprising -a. I

Fcharacter corresponding to each contact, witha circuit closingpontact adaptedto be the circuit :is completed: through the bars 'or 51, as the case may be,'andthe' conductors.

50 and". 51 leadingsfromsa-id bars 49, and the c'ontact'pieces 56 bein inserted i t by the use, of such an-apparatus, a fcor'nparatively un-.: skilled operator upon an ordinary typewritg "ing machinemay, with a littlepracticeiatice of the United States is: 1


designate the character t 0 contact, with a circuit e of contaets,- circuits correspondin to the difierentrcharactersto be use'd'an contact with the stationary contacts, an electtractedthereby whenQthe circuit contacts, means for-holding the contacts'and ace/an index assoused closed by the engagement ofthe sweeping contact with the stationary contacts, an electromagnet ineach circuit, and an operating member attracted thereby when the circuit is closed.

3. In a device of the class described, the combination with a keyboard consisting of a longitudinal holder having an undercut channel therein, a line of contacts therein, insulating spacing members separating said contacts, an index associated with each contact to designate the character. corresponding thereto, of a sweeping contact adapted to be swept over the stationary contacts, circuits corresponding to the different characters to be used closed by the engagement-of the sweeping contact with the stationary tacts, an electromagnet in each circuit, and

C onan operating member attracted thereby when the circuit is closed.

4. In a device of the class described, the

combination with a keyboard, consisting of a plurality of switch supports, each carrying a plurality of switches grouped about a' center thereof adapted to be occupied by a finger so that by moving the finger in different directions difierent switches will be closed, a circuit for each switch, an actuating electromagnet ineach circuit, an auxiliary keyboard consisting of a holder havin'g plural lines of contact+ therein, an index associated with each line of contacts to designate the characters corres onding thereto, a circuitclosin contact a apted to be swept over any of the ines of contacts, spacing members be tween the contacts, wires constituting parts of the circuits for the switches on the main be swept over any of t e lines of contacts,

circuits corresponding to the different characters to be used closed by the, en a ement of the sweeping contact with any 0 t e contacts in the lines having the same characters, an e'lectromagnet in each circuit, and an'o crating member attracted thereby when t e circuit is closed.

6. In a device of the class described, the combination with the keyboard containing plural lines of contacts, insulating s acing members between the contacts, an in ex associated therewith to designate the character corresponding to each contact, a. circuit combination with a keyboard consistin contacts and constituting a art of t at Char actor circuit, wires for eac character constitutingiarts of said circuits and adapted to be passe between a contact-and one of its spacing members at each oint the character of the circuit a pears in t e, line, an electromagnet in eac circuit, and an operating member attracted thereby when the circuit is closed.' l

7. In a device of the class described, tthe o a longitudinal holder an having a line 0 contacts therein, an index associated therewith to designate the character corresponding to .*the contact, an auxiliary line of s ecial contacts set at one side of the main inc and in staggered relation thereto, of a circuit closing contact adapted to be swept over the lines of contacts, circuits corresponding to the difl'erent characters to'be used closed by the engagement of the sweeping contact with the contacts in the line, a special circuit closed by the engagement of any of the s ecial contacts by the sweeping contact, an e ectromagnet in each circuit, and an operatin member attracted thereby when the circult is closed.

'8. In a device of the class described, the combination with a he board consistin of a longitudinal holder and having a line 0 contacts therein, an indexassociated therewithto designate the character corresponding to the contact, an auxiliary line of' adustable special contacts set at one side of t 0 main line and in staggered, relation thereto, of a circuit closing contact adapted to be swept over the lines of contacts, circuits corresponding' to the different characters to be used closed by the engagement of the sweeping contact with the contacts in the line, a special circuit closed by the en agement of any of the special contacts by te sweeping contact, an electroma net in each circuit, and an operating mom or attracted thereby when the circuit is closed. .l

9. In a device of the class described, the combination with a lurality of character operatin members, 0? an actuating electro magnet or each member; a character circuit for each electromagnet, a switch for each circuit adapted to'be closed by direct manipw lation, and a pluralit of contacts in each of said circuits adapte to be associated with similar contacts mother character circuits, and a sweeping contact ada ted to close the circuits rapidly by-mea'ns 0 said associated contacts.

combination withtlie plurality of character cuit-s for each character including the elecoperating members, of the corresponding plutromagnets and contacts therefor. Y in rality, of actuating electromagnets, a keyboard containing the switch for each character, an auxiliary board containing contacts for the various characters associated to form words and phrases, a contact adapted to be swept over said associated contacts, and cir- In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 28th day of May, 1906.

HENR 1 (I. HORSTMANN in the presence of witnesses: JOHN H. MoELRoY, E. K. MANCHESTER.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2532228 *Jul 26, 1946Nov 28, 1950Hesh Frank HElectrically operated typewriter
US3311210 *Oct 12, 1965Mar 28, 1967Navigation Computer CorpSloping panel keyboard mount
US4265557 *Jan 22, 1979May 5, 1981Runge J MarvinKeyboard apparatus
US5552782 *Nov 4, 1994Sep 3, 1996Horn; Martin E.Single-hand mounted and operated keyboard
WO2006067404A2 *Dec 19, 2005Jun 29, 2006Philip John MickelboroughComputer input device
Cooperative ClassificationH04L13/16