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First Typewriter Invented by Watchmaker

From The American Horologist magazine, January 1942

First Typewriter Invented by Watchmaker

Strange truths continue to prove watchmakers have contributed more to science and industry than any other calling outside of chemistry.

While in Iowa two years ago, at their state watchmakers' convention, I was receiving watchmakers contributions to industry, and discovered several enlightening contributions to our already lengthy lists of facts. My exceptional good fortune in meeting the sons of two Iowa watchmaker inventors will add to our historical wealth of knowledge, and we know there are thousands of such cases if only we could unearth them.

Our typewriter inventor, Mr. Abner Peeler, back in 1857, in Webster City, Iowa, worked out an idea with the result that the first typewriter saw the light of day and was finally patented on August 14, 1866 under the U. S.

Patent No. 57,182, and described as a "new and useful machine for writing and printing."

Mr. Peeler, however, did not reap much profit as is the usual inventor's plight; he sold his claims for $3,000.

Peeler also invented the air brush, the greatest step that has ever been taken in fine art. He also invented the self-threading sewing machine shuttle, which was sold to the Singer Sewing Machine Company's agent G. G. Ferguson of Ft. Dodge, Iowa in 1882.

Upper photo, latest air gun. Lower reproduction, first air gun.

This inventive genious also created a compressed air rifle, which was considered by our government to be so dangerous that it was suppressed.

The lives of many American watchmaker inventors are packed with human interest, but space-only allo~s the brief highlights. ..

Mr. Peeler's son, W. R. Peeler, of Los Angeles, possesses the original typewriter and air gun, and expressed his desire to dispose of them to historical museums or anyone interested in such relics. 

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