These seemingly quaint typewriters were not junk toys. Originally meant to be an inexpensive alternative to the
office machines of the day, they could not compete when typewriters became affordable. The first Simplex was a lovely thing, but over time they became variations on a simple design, employing a metal framework and a flat, circular dial. The dial included rubber letters and characters, sometimes all upper case, sometimes upper and lower. As the dial was rotated, the rubber letters passed against an ink roller. The user simply turned the dial until the desired letter was at the printing point, then pressed down on the dial. As the letter left its impression on the paper, the whole dial mechanism advanced one space. When the end of the
line was reached, the dial would be lifted and slid back to the beginning position and the typist manually advanced the page a line using the rollers. With care, the result could be presentable, but the amount of
time it took and the care required made the effort a challenge indeed.