Q: I have a Lambert typewriter in a wooden case marked with the patent date Oct. 21, 1884. It has a felt ink pad. Is it valuable?
A: The Lambert Typewriter Co. was located in New York City. Frank Lambert (1851-1937) immigrated to the United States from France in 1876. He worked on developing a “type writing machine” for 17 years before being granted a patent in 1884. The first Lambert typewriters were sold in 1902. They had a keyboard with an attached circular plate that was turned to print each letter. The keyboard on the earliest model could be turned in either direction to make letters that slanted like italics. The next model had a fixed keyboard and a shift key that made capital letters. Lambert made three typewriter models and sold more than 8,000 in the three years they were made. The last Lambert typewriter was manufactured in 1904. After typewriters with movable type and qwerty keyboards were invented in about 1903, sales of “index” typewriters like Lambert’s declined and Lambert’s machines were no longer made. At a sale that included other typewriters and vintage office equipment, your Lambert might sell for more than $1,000.