Throwback Thursday: What on earth is a "crab writer"?

The Light Brailler is all bright metal,
about twelve by four by four inches,
and mounted on a wooden base. 
Its keys are splayed like a crab’s legs.
I have to be careful on this blog not to post a braillewriter every week. We have more than forty different models in our collection.  From the time that Frank Hall and Gus Seiber invented the Hall Braille Writer in the 1890s to the present, inventors all around the world have been fascinated with the concept.  The machine we are featuring this week comes from Japan, and was marketed as the “Light Brailler.”  Manufactured by Guzeisha (Guzei Inc) in Tokyo, it was introduced in 1919.  Although they were sold all the way up to 2012, some contacts in Japan tell me that all of the Japanese designs suffered when the Perkins Brailler began to be imported in the 1950s.  (A familiar story!)
This is one of the writers--sometimes called "crab writers" for their splayed keyboard and sideways motion--in which keys and carriage move together across the paper. It is a downward writing model and so the keyboard is reversed.  The paper roller is mounted below and in front of the carriage. In its defense, it is definitely light!


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