From Vincze Miklós on io9:
The first commercially produced typewriter: The Hansen Writing Ball
The pincushion-like Hansen Writing Ball was invented in 1865 by Rasmus Malling-Hansen, the reverend and principal of the Royal Institute for the deaf-mutes in Copenhagen. It was first patented and entered production in 1870.
Antique machinery of any type is interesting, but somehow these old machines for producing printed text are especially fascinating to me.
Some years ago I picked up an old “Protectograph” check printer like the one below at a yard sale. It sits on top of the file cabinet in my office.
I suppose it might not be too many years before the file cabinet itself seems as dated as the Protectograph.