We some month’s since noticed
Thurber’s very ingenious machine for writing or forming
means of a series of keys which are operated like the keys of an organ.
As the inventor’s claim in this invention may be interesting
to some of
our readers, we give it an insertion. The patentee says—"The
my invention consists in communicating to a pen or pencil holder, the
motions necessary to delineate any and all letters or other characters,
by motions at right angles to each other, obtained by sets of cams,
each set being so formed as to combine the right angle movements, and
thus generate the vertical, horizontal, oblique, and curved lines
required to delineate the letters or characters. Each set of cams is
actuated by a separate or distinct lever or handle, as in a piano
forte, and the table, with the paper, &c., caused to move for
the required distance at the termination of each letter or
the return motion of the lever or handle.
out the principle of my invention, and the manner of constructing and
using the same, and indicated some of the variations in construction,
which may be made without changing the principle or character which
distinguishes it from all other things before known, what I claim as my
invention, and desire to secure by letters patent is communicating the
motions to the pen or pencil by means of cams acting on frames, so that
the vertical and horizontal strokes can be given by separate movements,
and the oblique curved strokes by the combined action of the two,
substantially as herein described. And I also claim giving to the sheet
of paper, or other substance to be written upon, a horizontal movement
for spacing off the letters, and a vertical movement for the lines, in
combination with the movements of the pen or pencil, substantially as
From: Scientific American, Vol 2, No. 16, 9
Jan 1847, page 124. (source)
[Note: This refers to Thurber's second patented machine, US patent 4,271 issued 18 Nov 1845.]
Thurber's Patent, described in an extract from the book The Marvels of Modern Mechanism (1901)
Charles Thurber's First Printing Machine, U.S. Patent No. 3228, An Improvement in Machines For Printing.
Today in Science History, event description for date Patent No. 3228 was issued, 26 Aug 1843.
Today in Science History, birthdate entry for Charles Thurber on 2 Jan 1803.