While most composers like to handwrite their sheet music, over the years there have been all types of machines invented to help print music. Perhaps one of the coolest is the Keaton Music Typewriter. First patented in 1936, it definitely doesn’t look like an ordinary typewriter. Robert H. Keaton from San Francisco, California created the machine, which has now become something of a rare collector’s item.
The original patent was for a 14-key typewriter, which was then upgraded to 33 keys in an improved 1953 patent. Marketed in the 1950s and sold for about $255, the machine has a distinct look thanks to its circular keyboard. In creating his design, Keaton was looking to create something that would be able to print characters precisely on a staff and indicate exactly where the next character would be printed to ensure accuracy.