Friday, February 26, 2021

An Invention with Huge Impact—the Typewriter

In our modern age, we don’t spend much time thinking of how our lives are impacted by inventions--these days we call it new technology. In fact, some of us expect it and willingly buy the next phone upgrade. Not me—I hang onto stuff until the company no longer provides tech support and then even longer, as long as it’s still working. Case in point, I’m writing this post using a Word 2007 program.

But imagine how the lives of office workers changed following the invention and commercial production of the typewriter. Prior to the mid 1870s or early 1880s, all reports within a company were handwritten. So if you have clear and precise penmanship, your skill was prized and ensured your employment.

The first patent for a Machine for Transcribing Letters was issued in 1714 to inventor Henry Mill, but no evidence the machine was ever produced commercially exists.

For the next one hundred and fifty years, many attempts were made to develop a typing machine, most with the keys arranged like those on a piano. But no invention proved successful enough to develop it commercially.

photo by Peter Mitterhofer

In Denmark in 1865, Rev. Mailing-Hansen invented a writing ball. The keys on top pushed a short piston with the capital letter on the end down onto the paper below.

In 1868 a patent was issued to American Christopher Latham Sholes for a machine that produced capital letters only. Sholes worked with Carlos Glidden, Samuel Soule, and Frank Haven Hall. This machine was taller than it was wide, had individual keys that lifted metal bars with the letter engraved on the end to hit a ribbon that pressed against paper held by a platen. But a consistent problem was the keys jammed. The machine proved unwieldy and Sholes sold the patent. Another inventor, James Densmore, played around with the key placement to arrange them so frequent letter combinations would not jam the keys near the platen. Voila--the invention of the QWERTY keyboard that is still in use today.

Densmore contacted the Remington Arms Company (yes, the company who made guns) for assistance in manufacturing the machine improved from Sholes’ design and called it the Sholes-Glidden Type-writer. Commercial production started early in 1873.

The next innovation was called an index typewriter which used a stylus to choose a letter from an index. The letter would then be printed to paper by pulling a lever. These machines were simpler in their construction, lighter in weight, and were advertised for use by travelers. Another advantage was the ability to change the font style, a feature standard typewriters did not have.

By 1910, the typewriter was being produced by several manufacturers with only minor differences between the models.

The biggest advantage this machine brought to American society, where the main function was to transcribe handwritten material, was the ability for women to enter the workforce in large numbers.

My latest release, A Bride for Jordan, features one of those women with the ability to take shorthand and transcribe the notes via a typewriter.

BLURB: With a book deadline hanging over his head, Wyoming veterinarian Jordan Vardon needs a stenographer…fast. Tired of living where women have no legal rights, Senta Volney jumps at the chance to use her shorthand and typing skills to help a Wyoming man write a book. A marriage-of-convenience is essential for propriety’s sake. Can city girl Senta adapt to the country life? Will Jordan have the heart to end their in-name-only arrangement?

Amazon buy link

I started my work career as a typist. I still own the Smith-Corona electric typewriter I bought for my first year in college, and I use it once a year for certain government forms. How many of you have experience with typewriters? 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Look What Our Authors have Published so far This Year!











 Our authors have been busy writing and publishing books. Here is what we have published so far this year:


To Seek a Jewel (Clear Creek Brides Book 3)

By Kit Morgan

Matrons on a Mission ~ One reluctant Southern Gent ~ And a Spinster who’s given up hope …

A spinster at twenty-three, Ruby has gone beyond being a “slow starter.” She feels it once her closest friend marries. Matt has plans that don’t include marriage. Then he begins to help Ruby and her mother help a family in need….


Amata (Cupids and Cowboys Book 6)

By Linda Carroll-Bradd

Grayson’s adopted daughter is all grown up and not following Papa’s directives.

After completion of her studies at a teacher’s college, Amata Wainwright returns to her Cheyenne, Wyoming, hometown and must inform her state senator father that she didn’t earn the expected diploma. She tutors her younger brother and his friend who have dyslexia, but never planned on finding the friend’s rancher father so interesting…..


A Bride for Harland (The Proxy Brides Book 51)

By Marisa Masterson

Renie Hunter gladly accepts Harland McGregor's proposal before he leaves to join the Army of the West. Two years pass before he finally sends for her. Her uncle insists the young couple marry by proxy. But the husband Renie meets is different from the sweetheart she remembers.


A Bride for Alston (The Proxy Brides Volume 53)

By Kimberly Grist

A potter in need of a home, a businessman thirsty for the inheritance his marriage will bring; and a proxy marriage that will mold and reshape them both.

Left out of the will, Elly’s pottery sales keep her brother’s farm going, but her sister-in-law wants her gone. Alston Pike focused on growing his business, but needs a wife so his grandmother will release his inheritance early.


A Bride for Jordan (The Proxy Brides Book 54)

By Linda Carroll-Bradd

With a book deadline hanging over his head, Wyoming veterinarian Jordan Vardon needs a stenographer. A marriage-of-convenience is essential for propriety’s sake. He’s planning on a six-month commitment to get his book written and then file for annulment.


Kate’s Railroad Chef (Train Wreck in Jubilee Springs Book 3)

By Zina Abbott

Kate travels by train to Jubilee Springs to be a mail order bride only to discover her intended has fallen in love with another woman. Garland, a ticket agent left in charge of the station, rescues her from the train wreck. He’s drawn to her, but knows with his stuttering problem, finding a wife will be almost impossible. Instead, he pursues his dream of becoming a chef. Will Kate find a loving husband and can Garland achieve all he desires?


Lilac Bride: Sweet Western Romance (Holiday Brides Book 4)

By Shanna Hatfield

When wedding plans go awry, wily matchmakers come to the rescue . . .

Katherine Kelly has been dreaming of her wedding since she was old enough to cut pictures out of magazines and glue them into her bridal binder. When Kaden, the handsome cowboy who holds her heart, proposes on a snowy Christmas Eve, she couldn’t envision anything more perfect or romantic…. Then, in a blink, her carefully formed plans begin to rapidly unravel….


Not all our authors offer their books on preorder. For those who do, these early sales go a long way toward boosting their sales ranking on Amazon. 
Please consider ordering books from your favorite authors before they are released.

Preorders for March:


Mail Order Tamsyn (Secret Baby Dilemma Book 7)

By Marisa Masterson

Tamsyn Glasson has a secret. Hopefully, the man who invited her west will marry her before he discovers it. Otherwise, where will she go?

Releases March 12, 2021


Mail Order Blythe (Secret Baby Dilemma Book 8)

By Zina Abbott

Blythe worked as a maid for a Chicago family until the lecherous son returned home. Becoming a mail order bride provides her best option for escaping his unwanted attention, but she soon realizes she did not escape soon enough. The sergeant stationed at Fort Steele in Wyoming is her last hope, but he must get permission to marry from his commanding officer first…. Jeb, a Union Pacific special agent newly assigned to western Wyoming, meets Blythe in Omaha. Following his boss’s orders, he escorts her to Rawlins close by the fort and asked her to keep a watch for and report to him anything suspicious—at least until her marriage to the soldier.

Releases March 19, 2021


Preorders for April:


Cole (Cupids & Cowboys Book 8)

By Zina Abbott

Once Cole reached adulthood, he found work on a local cattle ranch in the San Joaquin Valley. Now in his mid-twenties and living in a region where men still significantly outnumber women, he doesn’t give much thought to the prospect of marriage and family. Then again, he does not take into account one Lucy Barker who, at seven years of age, feels it is her mission to see her sister, Amelia, married to someone Lucy thinks is handsome and will be a good brother for her.

Releases April 1, 2021


A Quilter for Quint (Mail-Order Mama Series Book 2)

By Linda Carroll-Bradd

Daydreamer Melisande Avenelle wishes all the social engagements her mother insists on would just disappear so she can focus on her quilt making….Widower Quinton Aznar has a six-year-old son who wants a mama….The telegram announcing the arrival of his mail-order bride—a woman his mother corresponded with—on the next stagecoach is a shock.

Releases April 2, 2021


Sookie's Silence (Westward Home and Hearts Mail-Order Brides Book16)

By Marisa Masterson

The accident that kills her parents leaves Sookie Donaldson mute. She grasps at the chance to be a mail-order bride. The only catch is that she must also be able to teach school….Will her surly groom send her back on the first train east when he realizes Sookie is silent? And who is the man who shadows her every movement in her new hometown?

Releases April 13, 2021


A Baker for Bear (Mail-Order Mama Series Book 6)

By Kimberly Grist

A woman longing for a family, two young girls in need of a mother, and a farrier determined never to marry again, can a matchmaking agency help two independent people recognize their hearts' opposing desire?

Releases April 16. 2021  


A Lawyer for Linton (Mail-Order Mama Series Book 8)

By Zina Abbott

Samantha, recently graduated from law school, is aware legal opportunities are limited for women….entering into a business partnership with an established attorney is her best option….She is thrilled with the advertisement from an attorney seeking a partner….Linton has a growing law practice but as a widower with two young daughters, he needs help. Hoping to attract a woman of intelligence, he draws on his legal training and uses a play on words in his advertisements.

Releases April 23, 2021


Dalton’s Dual Brides (Matchmaker’s Mix-Up Book 8)

By Annee Jones

A naughty cat…a mixed-up matchmaker…an outlaw’s ghost…and now dueling brides - what’s a cowboy to do?

Releases April 30, 2021

Preorders for May:


Tess (Prairie Roses Collection Book 9)

By Annee Jones

A betrayal...a secret baby….an unknown imposter…will Tess survive the wagon train journey to Sunset Hills, Oregon after her life is threatened? And if so, what will she do once she gets there?

Releases May 4, 2021


Preorders for June:


A Caregiver for Cash (Mail-Order Mama Series Book 18)

by Annee Jones

A widowed controlling father….a blind but rebellious daughter….can caregiver Eliza Abraham help this family before tragedy occurs?

Releases June 18, 2021