On a recent visit to the Cooper Hewitt’s “About Tools: Extending Our Reach” exhibition we became familiar with the Malling-Hansen Writing Ball.
We learned that the Danish instrument actually received a gold medal for its invention at the 1878 World Exhibition in Paris. The machine featured a circular keyboard and typed silently. Interestingly, the Remington Typewriter, which popularized the QWERTY keyboard, was also on display at this World Exhibition. The Remington received the silver medal. Its typing was much louder than the Malling-Hansen model, but due to better financing and staffing, this model quickly became the more readily available typing machine and dominated the industry.
Images courtesy of: The International Ramus Malling-Hansen Society