What Kinds of Typewriters Are There?

There are two main types of typewriters: mechanical and electric. Typebar and typeball are two sub styles of electrical typewriters.

Although inventors were developing mechanical typewriters as early as 1714, the first commercially relevant version was the Sholes & Glidden Remington Typewriter. Mechanical typewriters are powered only by the typist, who must strike each key firmly in order for the inner gears and joints to move correctly.

The first working electric typewriter was invented by James Fields Smathers in 1914, developed for production by the Northeast Electric Company in 1923 and redesigned by IBM in 1933. The powered typewriter uses electric components to move the keys and letters, making typing easier and quieter. IBM introduced the typeball in 1961, which replaced the standard typebar lettering blocks.