I have a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks, including my college reunion at Johns Hopkins. During my visit, I will be making a side trip to see what I have reason to believe is the only IBM Chinese Typewriter left in existence. Designed by Gao Zhongqin in the 1940s, IBM developed a limited number of prototypes before it ultimately abandoned the project. It took some sleuthing, but I finally tracked it down – my dream is to include this machine in a museum exhibit dedicated to the Chinese typewriter.
For those of you who are curious about what the machine looks like, I recently sponsored the digitization of the following 1940s-era film, rescued by the good folks at the Academic Film Archive of North America. The apparatus can be seen in action toward the end of the film (with the inventor, Gao Zhongqin, visible in the background).
The film can be viewed here.