First daisy-wheel typewriter, 1889 has just added this lovely 1889 Victor index typewriter:

This was the first typewriter to use a daisy wheel, which would be a common design feature on 1980s typewriters. The daisy wheel is made of thin brass, cut with narrow radial fingers, one for each character. At the end of each finger is an embossed rubber character.

To operate the Victor one puts the tip of ones index finger in the little cup at the end of the pointer, then swings the pointer up to a full 180 degrees to select the characters. The pointer is connected by a gear to the central vertical wheel that holds the daisy wheel. As the pointer swings, the daisy wheel rotates into position. A spring-loaded hammer then pushes the brass finger in the daisy wheel against the paper.

Victor index (Thanks, Martin!)


  1. That is one odd (keyboard? letterwheel?) layout – the upper and lower case letters are in almost but not quite the same order.  There is presumably some logic to it, but I’ll be darned if it’s obvious to me…

    1. I can make some sense of it.  Clearly, lower-case letters are the most used and should be in a single group.  The most used letters are in the middle of that group (the t,h,e,r,o,i,a,n part) with the others on either side.

      Upper-case letters will be accessed less frequently, mostly just for the initial letter of a sentence (unless you’re using it to post comments on youtube). “T” is the most commonly used first letter, rather than “e”.  So I get why “T” would be rightmost in the upper-case section, but that’s the point where I get stuck – why is “J” is the next most accessible letter (unless you were typing people’s names a lot?)

        1. Thanks for your careful analysis of the Victor’s character arrangement. There is no mention of the Victor’s ‘keyboard’ layout in my books or its manual. The general logic of this layout is apparent then but as you convey, J jumps out.

          If you would like to see other unusual typewriters, please visit my website and you will see many intriguing designs.

          Martin Howard (the collector)

Comments are closed.