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Rare Keaton Music Typewriter

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Few individuals own this beautiful machine and there isn't much commonly known about the Keaton Music Typewriter. In fact, the exact number produced is unclear. According to CBS News, "There are fewer than a dozen known to exist."

Short history from musicprintinghistory.org:

The Keaton Music Typewriter was first patented in 1936 (14 keys) by Robert H. Keaton from San Francisco, California. Another patent was taken out in 1953 (33 keys) which included improvements to the machine. The machine types on a sheet of paper lying flat under the typing mechanism. There are several Keaton music typewriters thought to be in existence in museums and private collections. It was marketed in the 1950s and sold for around $225. The typewriter made it easier for publishers, educators, and other musicians to produce music copies in quantity. Composers, however, preferred to write the music out by hand.

The condition of this Keaton is rather fantastic. There is a crack on the upper corner of the wood and we reduced the price accordingly (we can send you images of this damage upon request). The keys are all in working order. The ribbon needs a simple replacement and the box that stores this device has an odor (from its humid beachside storage). Other than that, this is an amazing item. If you want additional images, please let us know and we'll send them your way!

Any questions? Feel free to start a conversation. We are accepting serious offers.


Included with purchase:
Mounting board
Original Case
Keaton Music Sheets
Instruction Manuel
Price sheet and other original paperwork
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Rare Keaton Music Typewriter


  • Vintage item from the 1950s
  • Materials: metal, wood, paper
  • Only ships within United States.
  • Feedback: 112 reviews
  • Favorited by: 549 people