He’s Just the Type Who Would Type


Remington Rand typewriter ad featuring Mark Twain and his daughter, COLLIER’S MAGAZINE, February 24, 1945

 

Mark Twain was the first significant author to submit a typewritten manuscript to a publisher.

By his own accounts, Mark Twain admitted that he did not actually do the typing himself, but rather hired someone to type it for him. In his unpublished autobiography, the famous American author stated he believed he was the first to “apply the type-machine to literature” and even claimed that the literature in question was his novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, published in 1876. However, according to typewriter historian Darryl Rehr, Mark Twain was apparently erroneous in his claim, confusing both the timeline of his submission and the novel submitted. Meticulous research on the part of literary historians support Rehr’s statement, showing it was actually another of Twain’s novels that he submitted as a typewritten manuscript; the actual Twain novel submitted was Life on the Mississippi published in 1882.

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