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Definition: memory typewriter

A typewriter that holds a few lines or pages of text in its memory. With only a small readout, memory typewriters provide limited word processing functions but may also serve to print boilerplate text. The first memory typewriters were introduced in the 1940s to create legal agreements containing a large amount of repetitive text. See boilerplate.

One of the First
In the 1940s, text was punched into player piano-like rolls for the AUTO-TYPIST. As the rolls passed over slots in a bar, a valve opened and negative pressure in a hose collapsed a small bellows that pulled down the typewriter key. (Image courtesy of TMC/Compco, Inc.)

The Typewriter/Perforator
Typing on this machine recorded the text by punching holes in the rolls. (Image courtesy of TMC/Compco, Inc.)

"The Ultimate in Automatic Typing"
Up until the mid-1970s, AUTO-TYPIST machines from the American Automatic Typewriter Company provided reliable document processing. (Image courtesy of TMC/Compco, Inc.)