This artifact, an Oliver typewriter, has a memorable design that enabled the typist to see the words they were typing. In order for this to happen the typebars were placed as high spires providing partial visibilty. At the time of its development in 1894 it was one of the first typewriters that allowed one to see what they were typing - a significant improvement over the earlier "blind" typing. A range of models of the Oliver Typewriter were produced from 1894 to 1928.
The artifact also has a keyboard that differs from what we are accustomed to today. In contrast to the keyboard layout we know with four rows of keys, this Oliver typewriter only has three rows, with numbers and symbols reached by pressing a key labeled "FIG" and one of the letter keys. Each typebar, therefore, included the small and capital of a letter along with a number or symbol. For example one typebar, controlled by one key, was used for "q", "Q" and "1".
This artifact, which shows significant wear in its worn keys and broken spacebar, includes a label on the bottom front indicating the manufacturer and maintenance instructions:
"MANUFACTURED BY / The Oliver Typewriter Co. Chicago, U.S.A. / Keep machine cleaned and oiled."
;Serial Number: 252178
Artifact GR (2012 – 2013) Artifact GR was a project which invited members of the community into the archives of the Grand Rapids Public Museum, and asked them to write about their experiences. The resulting submissions were cataloged in an interactive website (www.artifactgr.org) and in a published book (http://www.blurb.com/b/4400444-the-artifact-projectsoftcover).