This index typewriter is designed for typing Chinese characters. The typewriter is accompanied by two extra trays of type and a chart showing the layout of the type in a tray.

The Chinese written language is represented by ideograms, numbering several thousand characters. In this typewriter each character is embossed on the end of an individual type 'slug'. Several thousand of these slugs, representing the most used characters, are arranged in a rectangular array in a tray positioned in front of a cylindrical platen. The operator moves the operating mechanism over the array and presses a handle. The mechanism picks up the slug for the selected character, lifts it out of the tray and swings it up and forward to make contact with the inking ribbon, paper and platen. The slug is then returned to its position in the tray. Extra trays containing additional character sets were provided with the machine.

Physical Description

Metal frame with cylindrical platen at rear. Tray containing about 2500 individual character slugs in front of platen. Operating mechanism and platen move on carriage. Operating handle moves vertically to select character to be printed. Inking ribbon carried between two spools on vertical axes.

More Information

  • Collecting Areas

    Information & Communication

  • Acquisition Information

    Donation from Asian Languages Department, University of Melbourne (The), by 13/11/1990

  • Date Manufactured

    China, circa 1980

  • Inscriptions

    On front of frame: Two birds and Chinese characters. On label on lower rear frame: Chinese characters but including the letters 'DHY' and the serial number '721251'

  • Classification

    Communications, Typewriting, Mechanical

  • Category

    History & Technology

  • Discipline


  • Type of item


  • Overall Dimensions

    730 mm (Width), 560 mm (Depth), 285 mm (Height), 26.5 kg (Weight)
    Above is with platen in closed position; with platen fully extended - D560 x W900 x H285

  • Exhibition Collection Management

    730 mm (Width), 560 mm (Depth), 285 mm (Height), 26.5 (Weight)
    above is with carriage closed; with carriage fully extended - D560 x W900 x H285

  • Keywords

    Communications, Office Equipment, Typewriters