The typewriter on the desk belonged to Albertus Sonneveld. It is a portable model by the American company Remington. Next to the desk is the wooden case, which attaches to the baseplate. Mr Sonneveld took the typewriter with him on his business trips for Van Nelle.
The first typewriter put into production was invented in 1867 by Christopher Latham Sholes, Carlos Glidden and Samuel W. Soule. Their patent was sold to E. Remington and Sons, which originally made sewing machines and weapons. Remington produced its first commercial typewriter on 1 March 1873 in Ilion, New York. In 1920 Remington introduced the first portable typewriter with four rows of keys, aimed at travelling salesmen, journalists and army personnel. They were lightweight but less reliable with relatively poor type quality.
The Remington Portable has a unique feature to minimise its profile: a lever on the right raises the bank of type bars for typing and lowers them again for storage. Following its launch in 1920, the Remington Portable was produced for more than ten years with continuous improvements to its design. Early models have a single shift key on the left, while later models have shift keys on both sides of the keyboard. Because of this difference, many collectors refer to the first variant as the Remington Portable No.1 and the others as the No.2.
E. Remington & Sons, Remington Portable No. 1, 1920-1930, collection Het Nieuwe Instituut.