The machine is at Bliss's, grimly pursuing its appointed mission, slowly &
implacably rotting away at another man's chances for salvation. I have sent
Bliss word not to donate it to a charity (though it is a pity to fool away a
chance to do a charity an ill turn), but to let me know when he has got his
dose, because I've got another candidate for damnation. You just wait a couple
of weeks & if you don't see the TypeWriter coming tilting along toward Cambridge
with the raging hell of an unsatisfied appetite in its eye, I lose my guess.
- Letter to William Dean Howells, 25 June 1875
Please do not even divulge the fact that I own a machine. I have entirely stopped
using the Type-Writer, for the reason that I never could write a letter with
it to anybody without receiving a request by return mail that I would not only
describe the machine but state what progress I had made in the use of it, etc.,
etc. I don't like to write letters, and so I don't want people to know that
I own this curiosity-breeding little joker.
- Letter, 19 March 1875
...I will now claim--until dispossessed--that I was the first person in the
world to apply the typewriter to literature...The early machine was full of
caprices, full of defects--devilish ones. It had as many immoralities as the
machine of today has virtues. After a year or two I found that it was degrading
my character, so I thought I would give it to Howells...He took it home to Boston,
and my morals began to improve, but his have never recovered.
- "The First Writing Machines"
Remington Rand typewriter ad featuring Mark Twain and his daughter,
COLLIER'S MAGAZINE, February 24, 1945
...[children] what are they in the world for I don't know, for they are of
no practical value as far as I can see. If I could beget a typewriter--but no,
our fertile days are over.
- Letter to William Dean Howells, 12 May 1899
According to Dr. Peter M. Weil, Associate Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Delaware who writes and researches typewriters:
"Mark Twain had several typewriters. He was a pioneer in using the
"Type Writer, a Sholes and Glidden that was manufactured by
Remington, beginning in 1874. He regularly wrote letters on it, and he
invested in it and personally promoted it. One of his books Life on
the Mississippi was typed on it from his written manuscript by someone
else. It was the first typed manuscript for a published book ever submitted
by an author. The Type Writer sent to Howells in 1875 was a Sholes and
Glidden (see 1876 ad below)."
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