The Simplex Typewriter

by Don Bell
(Peterborough, Canada)

The Simplex Typewriter Number 300

The Simplex Typewriter Number 300

Does anyone remember the Simplex Typewriter? It was around 1956 that I relentlessly badgered my parents to give me one for Christmas. It is mostly made of painted tinplate with a stiff cardboard bottom, and the outer rim of the wheel containing the "keys" is made of a soft rubber. The lower mock keyboard is merely for looks.

The typewriter's dimensions are 24.5 cm wide x 20.5 cm deep x 10 cm high. It is identified as Number 300 (its model number). Design Patent No. 154345. These machines were manufactured in various models since the 1890s by the Simplex Typewriter Co. Inc., New York City.

The complete alphabet in both upper and lower case letters is provided on the rotating wheel, including numbers and basic punctuation, and you simply dial the letter you wish to type and press down on the rubber key with your finger to print it, thereby advancing the type wheel one space. After clicking your way across a line of text, you must carefully lift and slide the type wheel back to the left again and use the two wooden side knobs to roll the paper up a line.

Two small felt pads positioned with spring clips beneath the rim of the wheel held the printer's ink topped up by using a cotton swab dipped in the little bottle of blue ink supplied with the machine.

At best, the ingenious little typewriter can only accommodate a 19 cm (7 inch) wide sheet of writing paper, not a standard-sized sheet, though it can handle a small envelope nicely. The cardboard carton it arrived in serves as its carrying case.

I amused myself with the Simplex Typewriter for several years. It's remarkable what can be accomplished using what's now classed as a toy typewriter, though they were originally invented as serious writing machines, but I do recall my index finger getting sore now and then from all the rubber key pressing. Many a page was typed on that little typewriter.

Little did I dream back then that I'd be sitting here typing on my iMac computer today. The Simplex Typewriter currently rests atop the filing cabinet in my home office as a fond memento of my childhood.

Comments for The Simplex Typewriter

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

I Had a Simplex
by: Anonymous

I recognize this typewriter. I had one as a kid.

Simplex Typewriter
by: Clark

The Simplex Typewriter is a very interesting topic for us. I read this and learned more about the typewriter. Thanks for this post.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Do You Remember When.

Visit the Homemade Dessert Recipes Home Page

Old Fashioned Rose Cookbook Icon

Donald Bell is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to If you make a purchase through a link on this page, I may receive a small commission to help support this site — at no extra cost to you. Thank you.

Don Bell with Old Fashioned Recipes

Please click the Like button above and help me preserve Grandma's old fashioned recipes in their original form.

Mystery Quiz

Mystery Item

What is this antique item? The Answer is found below.

Recent Articles

  1. Downspout 10 String Wind Harp

    I watched the video on making an Aeolian downspout harp and proceeded to create one: a 3x4-inch, 3 foot long, 10 string, 2 sided wind harp. I thought it

    Read More

  2. My Solo Build It Review & How to Build a Recipe Site

    Read my detailed Solo Build It Review with Q&As and step-by-step instructions on How to Build a Recipe Site.

    Read More

  3. Bake Homemade Pie Pops Today

    Make your own flaky, golden pie pops and surprise your friends and family with a truly yummy dessert treat that's easy to make and fun to serve.

    Read More

  4. Vintage Dessert Cake Recipes

    You will love these old fashioned dessert cake recipes for when you want to serve something that's proven to be delicious and different.

    Read More

  5. Basic Homemade Cake Recipe with 12 Variations

    You'll love this basic homemade cake recipe with simple variations for making up to 12 vintage dessert cakes.

    Read More


Quiz Answer

Grandma's button hooks for  fastening tight buttons on leather boots and gloves.