On this date in history, July 23, 1829, William Austin Burt patents the typographer, a precursor to the typewriter. It is commonly held that “Tom Sawyer” written by Samuel Clemens (also known as Mark Twain) was the first novel to be written on a typewriter.
When Clemens purchased his first typewriter in 1874, how much did he pay for it?
Samuel Clemens (AKA Mark Twain) purchased his first typewriter in 1874 and used it to write two letters on December 9th. Apparently using the new-fangled device wasn’t easy for him. The next year, Clemens writes to Remington saying he is no longer using his typewriter and declares it is corrupting his morals as it makes him want to swear. He gives it away twice that year but it is returned both times.
“Tom Sawyer” was the first typewritten novel but Samuel Clemens didn’t type it. He dictated the novel to a typist and “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” is published in 1876.
So, how much did that typewriter cost? In 1874 Clemens paid $125 for it. That would be equal to more than $2600 in today’s dollars.
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