Smith Premier Typewriter

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .
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The Smith Premier №1 Typewriter.

The Smith Premier is a well-engineered, much-imitated typewriter with a full keyboard (separate keys for upper- and lower-case letters) and an understroke mechanism (it types on the bottom of the platen). Smith Premiers also feature a built-in cleaning brush for the type.

The SP #1 appeared in 1890, the #2 in 1896. In 1908 Smith Premier introduced the only full-keyboard frontstroke typewriter ever made, the #10.

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The Smith Premier №1 Typewriter. [image source, photo by Marcin Wichary, used with permission.]

The Smith Premier full-keyboard upstrike typewriter was built by the L.C. Smith & Brothers gun factory in Syracuse, N.Y. The inventor was Alexander Brown, who was employed by Smith.

The Smith Premier Typewriter appeared in 1890 and stands out with its beautiful relief of cattails and flowers and the columns cast into the sides of the machine (pic 4). The insides were mechanically equally impressive. In stead of the levers used on earlier machines, Brown designed his machine with cranks and rods that could be easily adjusted for optimum control.

A second model appeared in 1895, without the ornately decorated sides. Starting with the SP3 in 1901, the machine had a total of 84 keys (the SP1 and 2 had 76) and was available in different carriage widths on the models 4, 5 and 6.

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The Smith Premier №1 Typewriter. Right side.
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The Smith Premier №1 Typewriter. Right side.
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The Smith Premier №1 Typewriter. Left side.
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The Smith Premier №1 Typewriter. Top view.
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The Smith Premier №1 Typewriter.
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The Smith Premier №1 Typewriter. Back view.

The Smith Premier № 2

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The Smith Premier Typewriter № 2. 1894. Note, single long spacebar. [image source, photo by Marcin Wichary, used with permission.]


  1. Hammond Typewriter
  2. Royal Bar-Lock Typewriter
  3. Smith Premier Typewriter
  4. Caligraph №3 Typewriter
  5. Cahill Electric Typewriter
  6. Japan Remington No 9 Typewriter
  7. Rheinmetall Portable Ergonomic Typewriter
  8. Smith-Corona Ultrasonic I Plus Typewriter
  9. Typewriter Spacebar History
  10. Book: The Chinese Typewriter: A History

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