1879 Typewriters and Copying Machines

  • Advertisment for Edison's Electric Pen

    Edison’s Electric Pen

    Before copy machines and scanners, copies of documents were produced by hand. In the 1870s, a new invention from Thomas Edison caught the attention of School Board officials. The Electric Pen was a hand-held device that created a stencil of whatever the user drew or wrote on a piece of paper. Ink was then rolled over the stencil leaving an impression of the image on the sheet beneath. In 1879, the minutes record that all reports presented to the Board were to be printed with the Electric Pen.

    Maker unknown

    Printed paper


    Black ink print of a hand-held pen with attached motor and cable leading to battery, with text.