Giuseppe Ravizza

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Giuseppe Ravizza, a prolific typewriter inventor, was born in Novara, Italy in 1811 (died 1885), and spent nearly 40 years of his life obsessively grappling with the complexities of inventing a usable writing machine. He called his invention Cembalo scrivano o macchina da scrivere a tasti, because of its piano-type keys and keyboard. The saga of the 16 models he produced between 1847 and the early 1880s is examined in some depth in The Writing Machine and illustrated from Ravizza’s 1855 patent, which bears such striking similarities to the later upstroke design of the Sholes and Glidden Type Writer (see Sholes and Glidden typewriter).

In 1868 the American Christopher Latham Sholes (1819-1890) patented, on behalf of Remington, a typewriter that was based on principles completely identical to those of the Ravizza machine. The Cembalo scrivano could type upper or lower case too, a feature not present in the Remington machine.


  • Adler, Michael H. (1973). The Writing Machine, a history of the typewriter. London: Geo. Allen & Unwin Ltd. pp. 123–130. 
  • Adler, Michael H. (1997). Antique Typewriters, from Creed to QWERTY. Atglen PA (USA): Schiffer Publishing Ltd. p. 12 and 115.