Lillian Sholes, the daughter of typewriter inventor Christopher Latham Sholes, with one of her father's early typewriters, circa 1874.
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A young lady, wearing a long skirt and a long sleeve jacket, sits at a typewriter.

Credit: Image donated by Corbis-Bettmann

Women's dexterity with the typewriter gained them entrance into white-collar employment, and the cleaner and less strenuous working conditions that it offered compared to many other occupations open to women. In the 1880s, when a saleswoman might be on her feet all day long and make only $6 a week, a woman "typewriter" could earn $15-20 a week. Once typing became a female occupation, the pay scale dropped significantly.

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