Imperial typewriter, Model B serial number 22751, c. 1915.
Metal frame with black finish. Plated metal components. Cylindrical platen. Curved vertical typebasket. Two curved black metal covers over type bars and over type-bar mechanism. Curved three-row QWERTY keyboard. Twenty-eight character keys with 'FIGS' and 'CAPS' keys on each side of keyboard. Keys marked with black lettering on light background. Curved metal spacebar at centre front of keyboard on pivoting frame which extends on either side of keyboard. Another unmarked key on right-hand side, near platen.
The Imperial Model B typewriter was a commercial breakthrough for the Imperial Typewriter Company of Leicester, England when first introduced around 1915.
The basic design of this typewriter was the work of a Spanish-American Engineer named Hidalgo Moya who set up the Imperial Company and began marketing his first typewriter in 1908. In 1915 the Model B succeeded the Model A and incorporated improvements including two shift keys and a backspace key. Also, in the Model B, the complete keyboard and type basket could be easily removed for cleaning or replacing.
This typewriter is of the typebar, 'downstrike from front' class. In the Imperial Model B the typebars were held in a vertical position in a curved typebasket in front of the cylindrical platen and carriage. When a key was depressed the selected typebar swung downwards to strike the ribbon and paper against the platen. The keyboard was curved to match the curve of the typebasket.