1811 – 1885
Who was Giuseppe Ravizza?
Giuseppe Ravizza, a prolific typewriter inventor, was born in Novara, Italy in 1811, and spent nearly 40 years of his life obsessively grappling with the complexities of inventing a usable writing machine. He called his invention Cembalo scrivano o macchina da scrivere a tasti, because of its piano-type keys and keyboard. The saga of the 16 models he produced between 1847 to the early 1880s is examined in some depth in The Writing Machine and illustrated from Ravizza’s 1855 patent, which bears such striking similarities to the later upstroke design of the Sholes and Glidden Type Writer that Italian cries of foul play and strident accusations of plagiarism were heard all the way across the Atlantic.
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