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" I sometimes suspect that we're seeing something in the Internet as significant as the birth of cities. It's really something new, it's a new kind of civilization."
- William Gibson

Electric Typewriter  
  A typewriter that used the power of electricity to strike the letters onto the paper, rather than the finger muscles of the typist.  

'My first idea was merely to simplify the work of the type-writer. At present her delicate hands have to hammer at the keys all day and she is subject to the malady known as 'typewriter's cramp.' It struck me that the work could be made much leas fatiguing by pressing the keys by electricity instead of by the fingers. I found that by dipping the tips of my fingers in a solution of copper I could make sufficient contact, by touching a type-writer key to switch on an electric current that would press down the desired letter. The keys, you understand, remained stationary, it was only the type that moved. There was no time or energy lost in pushing down the keys and letting them rise again. A dexterous person could write several times as fast as with the most rapid present day typewriter. Every touch meant a letter. As the keys were motionless they could be crowded close together, separated only by insulating material. I saved so much space that even using separate keys for the capitals and shift-letters, my keyboard was smaller than the standard size. The typewriter itself was greatly simplified as all moving parts 'were done away with except the few simple ones necessarily to turn the type-wheel which contained the letter on its rim. Each touch released a plunger that forced the wheel against the paper, writing the character desired."
Technovelgy from Dr. Hackensaw's Secrets Some Minor Inventions, by Clement Fezandie.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1926
Additional resources -

As far as I know, the first practical typewriter was patented in 1868, but was impractical. Around 1870, Thomas Edison saw the machine and contrived a device that used a series of magnets; again, it was an impractical invention.

The first power-operated machine was invented in 1914, but worked in a manner similar to that of a sewing machine. The first practical machines were built in the 1920's, but the IBM Electromatic typewriters weren't sold until the early 1930's.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Dr. Hackensaw's Secrets Some Minor Inventions
  More Ideas and Technology by Clement Fezandie
  Tech news articles related to Dr. Hackensaw's Secrets Some Minor Inventions
  Tech news articles related to works by Clement Fezandie

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