Rise of the Yiddish Machines: The Typewriter and Yiddish Literature

When modern Yiddish literature burst onto the scene during the second half of the 19th century, its writers used pen and ink to write everything from brief poems to thousand-page novels. At the turn of the 20th century when Yiddish versions of a new invention called the “typewriter” began to appear, many writers dropped their pens and began using these new machines, which were able to crank out texts more quickly and, importantly, more legibly.

Rise of the Yiddish Machines: The Typewriter and Yiddish Literature features rare, vintage Yiddish typewriters, some of them more than a century old. Also on view will be original typescripts by dozens of Yiddish writers, among them Isaac Bashevis Singer, Chaim Grade, and Marc Chagall, many with the writers’ own editorial markings. Additionally, visitors will have the opportunity to type on an actual vintage Yiddish typewriter, doubtlessly a rare experience for many.


Mon and Wed: 9:30am-8pm
Tue and Thu: 9:30am-5pm
Fri: 9:30am-3pm
Sun: 11am-5pm


Through: December 31
Entry: Free

On Display

Russ & Daughters: An Appetizing Story presented by the American Jewish Historical Society
The Art of Exile: Paintings by German-Jewish Refugees presented by the Leo Baeck Institute
Hey, Wow! The Art of Oded Halahmy presented by the Yeshiva University Museum
The Door Slams Shut: Jews and Immigration in the Face of American Reaction presented by the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
When The Golden Door Closed, They Carried The Torch presented by American Jewish Historical Society and Center for Jewish History