A modified typewriter touted as the original Google appliance is, in fact, a well-crafted fake, the Skeptics Society, Mr Vintage and a font expert says.
The device, an object known as a ‘typewriter‘, was said to have contained the template for Google, the popular search engine, as well as a strikingly similar name (“Goggle”).
Embossed on one side is an inscription in the ancient font of Catull bearing the letters: “GO GLE.” It appears that this once said GOGGLE but the experts were split on whether the faint outline of the missing letter was an ‘O’ or a ‘G’.
Officials with Mr Vintage, a Retro Authority, announced on Wednesday that while the writer may date from the correct era, the inscription is a forgery added at a much later date.
“The inscription appears new, embossed in modernity by someone attempting to reproduce ancient written characters,” the officials said in the statement.
They said that a panel of font designers lead by guru Kris Sowersby had agreed unanimously with the findings.
The device first came to public attention last Friday when zef[a]media published a story on Jack Wyndham, a struggling beekeeper who claimed he had invented the original blueprint and a working prototype for Google Chrome, a new type of web browser.
However, after viewing the browser prototype once it appeared on a New Zealand trading website Trade Me (then later Flickr, Digg, Facebook, Twitter and TV3 Nightline), the team of Skeptics concluded that the finding was incorrect.
“The typewriter is real. But the inscription is fake,” the Skeptics Society told zef[a]media.
“What this means is that somebody took a real typewriter and forged the writing on it, probably to give it a religious significance,” a Skeptical spokesperson added.
The committee said another indication that the Goggle was not all it was claimed to be was that the chrome from which it was hewn was more likely to have originated in England or Northern Ireland than Milton.
However, Skinny La Veal, a Wellington country singer, dismissed the findings.
“I am certain the Goggle Type is real and I am certain that the Skeptics Society is wrong regarding its conclusions,” he said.
La Veal had earlier said he had problems with the Society and its methods of investigation saying they had “preconceived notions.”
He said he had bid on the Goggle Type at a charity auction earlier in the week from a dealer in Kapiti, but he was unable to remember the dealer’s name.
Typewriters were commonly used by families between the late 1700’s and 1980 A.D. to store words on paper (a.k.a. documents).
In 1971, Jack Wyndham obtained a New Zealand patent for a device that, from the patent, appears to have been similar to a Google. Zef[a]media attempted to locate Wyndham but he has reportedly “gone bush”, hunting for veroa mites in the Nelson territory.