The Classic Typewriter Page


Developed by French immigrant Frank (born François) Lambert over a period of 17 years, the Lambert has a one-of-a-kind design. Although it looks like an index machine, the Lambert is a keyboard typewriter. The circular keyboard is connected directly to a type disk that contains all characters. Upon depression of a key, the disk swivels to the right position, descends, and prints through an opening in the ink pad onto a printing surface the size of a lentil. The paper curls up around the wooden roller as typing continues. The end of a line is signaled when a little upright spring attached to the carriage flicks against a ball bearing, which then rolls through a tube to hit a bell. This odd little device was advertised as suitable "for almost everybody." You'd think it would be extremely rare, but in fact, the Lambert was moderately successful, and it turns up with some regularity for under $1000.

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