Illustration of Christopher Sholes with the "Grateful Ladies."
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A man with a gray beard and hair, sits at a typewriter, while above are a long line of ladies that fade into the backgound.

Credit: Image Courtesy of the Herkimer County Historical Society

Christopher Latham Sholes was not thinking of women when he created his first typewriter, but late in life he was pleased that his invention had turned out to be "a blessing to mankind, and especially to womankind." Perhaps more than any other invention, the typewriter allowed women entry into the office, a previously all-male, inner sanctum of business. In this book illustration from the early 1920s, the artist idealized the impact of Sholes' invention on the lives of women.

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