This Day in History – September 8th, 1906

1906 TypewritterOriginally, the term “carriage return” referred to a mechanism or lever on a typewriter. It was used after typing a line of text and caused the assembly holding the paper (the carriage) to return to the right so that the machine was ready to type again on the left-hand side of the paper (assuming a left-to-right language). The lever would also usually advance the paper to the next line. The key for this was usually labeled “carriage return” or “return”. With typewriters like the Selectric, where the type element was moved when typing and the paper held stationary, the key returned the type element to the left and the term “carrier return” was sometimes used for this function. Early typewriters required the manual repositioning of the carriage, but on this day in 1906, an 18-year-old by the name of Robert Eugene Turner invented the automatic typewriter return carriage, thus speeding up the efficiency of typewriters.

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