Genius unnoticed – the Mitterhofer Typewriter Museum in Parcines
The Typewriter Museum in Parcines, Alto Adige, is named after Peter Mitterhofer, a woodworker and carpenter as well as a ventriloquist, musician, and inventor. He had a talent for turning the most daring ideas into reality, and many say that his creative imagination mothered a revolutionary instrument: the typewriter.
He made five models between 1864 and 1869, building each one on his own, with basic tools. When he took two to Franz Joseph I, traveling to Vienna on foot, the Emperor granted him 350 florins to develop his idea. Despite this royal endorsement, he was unable to convince people of the typewriter’s potential. Later, American businessmen would make a fortune thanks to his brilliant invention.
In 1993, the Municipality of Parcines decided to celebrate Mitterhofer and his genius, and opened this wonderful museum to showcase the models he put together as well as many other masterpieces, such as a few by Sholes & Glidden and Remington-Standard, dating back to the late 1800s; a number of Chinese character typewriters; and models made especially for the blind. There are even a completely gilt German Princess, a Danish Malling Hansen (the most precious typewriter of all time), and an American Crandall, considered by many the most beautiful typewriter to ever be made.