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“Father of the typewriter” was a Michigander who forever changed the way we communicate

Michigan History Magazine, Vol. 6, 1922
Michigan History Center
William Austin Burt first used his typographer to write a letter to his wife

A hand drawn copy of the original typographer
Credit Michigan History Magazine, Vol. 6, 1922 / Michigan History Center
Michigan History Center
William Austin Burton, was a Michigan resident and the "Father of the Typewriter." He created the typographer in 1829.

You probably know the basics of how a typewriter works – even if you have never used one. What you may not have known, however, is that the “father of the typewriter” was William Austin Burt, from Macomb County.

As it happens, this Saturday is National Typewriter Day. Stateside invited Mark Harvey, state archivist with the Michigan History Center, to talk about what led to the birth of the typewriter. 

Listen above to hear about how the typewriter came to be, and to learn about the inventor who revolutionized the way we transcribe things today.

This segment is produced in partnership with the Michigan History Center

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