No Other Typewriter Can Do This (Apr, 1918)

No Other Typewriter Can Do This—

Change instantly from

Miniature Roman to Large Gothic.
Medium Roman to Italics.
Vertical Script to CLARENDON.
English to Russian.

This can be done by “Just Turning the Knob” on the Multiplex Hammond “Writing Machine”

Two type-sets always on the machine. A Special Type for Every Language, Business, Profession, and Science— instantly changeable! Write at once for illustrated folder. Learn what the 16 things are which can be done on the Multiplex Hammond, but on no other typewriter!


Condensed Aluminum
Only 11 Pounds
Full Capacity
Many Typewriters in One

Write Your Name, Address, and Occupation on the Margin and Mail to – –
Hammond Typewriter Company, 637 E. 69th St., New York, N. Y
Inquire about Special Terms to Professional!

  1. Casandro says: March 12, 20091:57 am

    Odd, turkish must have changed their alphabet. Now they have fairly normal letters.

  2. Charlene says: March 12, 20093:29 am

    Casandro, they did change their script. In Ottoman times and in the early years of the Republic, Turkish was written in Arabic script. Only in 1928 did Ataturk adopt the Turkish alphabet, which is based on the Latin alphabet.

  3. Mike says: March 12, 20095:31 am

    hmmmm, maybe this is the type writer Dan Rather was talking about.

  4. Charlene says: March 12, 20096:48 am

    The IBM Selectric comes with type balls. I once worked with a Selectric that had 24 different type balls for eight different fonts in three languages.

  5. Al says: March 12, 20097:44 am

    The Selectric was a special case, with its removable typeballs. Great machines – I used to repair them (in the guise of computer printers).

    This seems to be a cylinder design – turn a knob (somewhere – the woodcut is not all that clear) and it switches the font.

    This was not a machine that was going to work well for a speedy typist.

    BTW, whatthehell was “Condensed aluminum”? Some sort of alloy, no doubt..

  6. Mike says: March 12, 20098:39 am

    Old typewriters use to have mallets* that would come up and strike the paper, each mallet would have an uppercase and lowercase letter on it. Pressing the shift key would raise the mallet. Perhaps each key had several letters on it and when you adjusted the height a different section of the key would hit the paper.

    *(Not sure if mallet is the correct word)

  7. JMyint says: March 12, 20099:09 am

    The old Hammond typewriters had the typeface on a drum and by rotating the drum a person could change fonts. There is a video of one working along with photos and explaination of the workings here:


  8. John Savard says: March 12, 20099:25 am

    The Hammond typewriter was the original mono-spaced version of the Varityper. Fonts were on curved “shoes” which essentially made up somewhat less than 120 degrees of the circle.

    They were up against a cylinder formed of two metal rings, one above the other. A tab extended into the cylinder, through the gap between the rings, with a hole in it. So you lifted up the cylinder to put a type shoe on, and when you put it down, a needle went through the hole; this needle slid the font from side to side for the correct letter. (The cylinder also moved up and down for shifts; the keyboard was three-bank, so you had one shift for capitals and another for numbers and symbols.)

    The cylinder could have two font shoes on it, one on the front and one on the back, so in addition to lifting the cylinder to change fonts, one also lifted it to flip it over to change between the two fonts mounted on the machine.

  9. StanFlouride says: March 12, 20092:39 pm

    “Condensed Aluminum” was stamped metal and much more rugged than cast aluminum which was brittle and had a tendency to crystallize and break.

    Thanks JMyint, neat link.

  10. nlpnt says: March 12, 20097:43 pm

    What, no Comic Sans?

  11. John Savard says: March 12, 200910:06 pm

    In fact, the word balloons in a lot of Charlton comics *were* done on a handprint-style font made for this typewriter.

  12. Torgo says: March 12, 200910:49 pm

    Interestingly, the Russian text does not say “Russian.” It says “Byeunioa.” That doesn’t sound like a real Russian word.

  13. Stephen says: March 13, 20097:03 am

    J R R Tolkein used one of these machines to type work such as “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings”. As well as italics, it had special characters he needed to type in Anglo-Saxon, which was his day job.

  14. beagledad says: March 17, 20096:42 pm

    Wow . . . even 90 years ago, people could achieve homemade bad typography!

  15. AstroNerdBoy says: March 17, 20099:28 pm

    Wow. Amazing! I have to own one! ^_^

    Seriously, I had no clue typewriters were so fancy back then.

  16. Roy says: March 18, 20091:04 am

    Looks like a precursor to the Enigma machine. The Oliver stands out as well as an unusual typewriter from the 1890s. I’ve never actually seen a Hammond. Something I am having a hard time finding though are typewriter mechanics. I have a strong need to talk to typewriter mechanics for insight into the profession. Older the better. Anyone ever heard of a chatroom where they hang out?

  17. Gary says: March 19, 20097:09 am

    Mike (comment 3): Just what I was thinking.

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