The Hansen Writing Ball
Most of us are familiar with the old-school typewriters. Those with the crazy jam-prone typebars and the impossibly long key travel. But have you ever seen what came before that? Meet the Hansen Writing Ball. It was invented in 1865 by Rasmus Malling-Hansen and looks more steampunk than anything, ever. It made quite a splash, and was actually in use in offices until 1909, but eventually replaced by the mass-produced version that we all know so well. The wikipedia entry on it is fascinating, and includes a very interesting story on Nietzsche’s adventure with the Hansen.