The Teletype Story
In 1931 Edward Kleinschmidt formed Kleinschmidt Labs to pursue a different type design of Teletype. In 1944 Kleinschmidt demonstrated their lightweight unit to the Signal Corps and in 1949 their design was adopted for the Army's portable needs.
Teletype and Kleinschmidt competed for many decades following, each concentrating on their strengths.
"Teletype" machines tended to be large, heavy, and extremely robust, capable of running non-stop for months at a time if properly lubricated. In particular the Model 15 and Model 28 lines had very strong frames (cast iron in the Model 15; resilient sheet metal "plates" in the Model 28), heavy-duty mechanisms, and heavy sound-proofed cases. The "Kleinschmidt" line tended to be somewhat more typewriter-like—lighter, quieter, more aluminum and less iron. While Teletype Corp. developed a strong civilian customer base in addition to their military products, Kleinschmidt tended to be satisfied with the United States Signal Corps as their primary customer. Morkrum merged with their competitor E.E. Kleinschmidt to become Morkrum-Kleinschmidt Corporation shortly before being renamed the Teletype Corporation.
Creed & Company, a British manufacturer, built teleprinters for the GPO's teleprinter service. Their Teleprinter No. 7 (or Model 7) was probably the most distinguished of all: during WWII, dozens if not hundreds Creed 7s were installed at Bletchley Park, becoming a part of a system that "hacked" the German s' Enigma ciphers.
In Germany, Siemens & Halske company, (est. 1847), supplied teleprinters to Post Office, news agencies and of course to the military. Here's a German Fernschreibmaschine:
At the suggestion of Siemens, in 1933 the Deutsche Reichspost started operating the world's first public telex dialing network on a trial basis, with exchanges in Berlin and Hamburg.
Italian office equipment maker Olivetti (est. 1908) started to manufacture teleprinters in order to provide Italian post offices with modern equipment to send and receive telegrams. The first models typed on a paper ribbon, which was then cut and glued into telegram forms.
Olivetti T1 (1938 - 1948):Although printing news, messages, and other text at a distance is still universal, the dedicated teleprinter tied to a pair of leased copper wires was made functionally obsolete by the fax, personal computer, inkjet printer, broadband, and the Internet. In the 1980s, packet radio became the most common form of digital communications used in amateur radio. Soon, advanced multimode electronic interfaces such as the AEA PK-232 were developed, which could send and receive not only packet, but various other modulation types including Baudot. This made it possible for a home or laptop computer to replace teleprinters, saving money, complexity, space and the massive amount of paper which mechanical machines used. As a result, by the mid-1990s, amateur use of actual Teletype machines had waned, though a core of "purists" still operate on equipment originally manufactured in the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, a tribute to the workmanship and durability of this equipment.
And for a dessert - teletype noir (Arthur Fellig aka Weegee got the news on Manhattan Police HQ teletype):